US Food & Drug Administration appoints new director of Center for Tobacco Products

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that Mitchell Zeller, J.D., will assume the role of director of the Center for Tobacco Products on March 4, 2013. He will replace Dr Lawrence Deyton, who, as the first head of the Center for Tobacco Products, led the unprecedented charge by the FDA to implement the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The Act gave the federal government authority to regulate tobacco for the first time.

Legacy President and CEO Cheryl Heaton has warmly welcomed the FDA’s decision to appoint Zeller, who is an accomplished lawyer, tobacco control strategist and advocate for public health. Zeller was the former associate commissioner of the FDA under David Kessler and previously served as health policy expert with Pinney Associates as well as Executive Vice President at Legacy during its formative years.

Zeller helped lead The Strategic Dialogue on Tobacco Harm Reduction (the Dialogue) among public health experts. “Zeller’s thought leadership and foresight on the regulation of tobacco and reducing smokers’ health risks will be an invaluable asset to the FDA as it moves forward with its tremendously important mission”, said Dr Healton.

Read the full legacy statement here.

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