The FDA and NIH have provided $18 million in funding for the Center for Rapid Tobacco Surveillance (CRST), which will be used to monitor tobacco-based products such as e-cigarettes.
On June 1, EDT, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement indicating that and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provided $18 million in funding for the Center for Rapid Tobacco Surveillance (CRST). According to the grantee, Rutgers University, the $18 million grant is for a five-year period for scientific research.
CRST will improve the ability of FDA and the research community to understand, document and quantify changes in tobacco product markets and tobacco use patterns through rapid monitoring and reporting of information. This is the FDA’s direct response to the rapid popularity of e-cigarette products. Previous agreements were based primarily on FDA’s regulatory efforts for cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and medical products, and were not prepared to monitor new products like e-cigarettes.
It is anticipated that CRST’s findings will directly generate relevant findings and data to inform FDA’s regulation of the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products to protect public health. In particular, CRST will support more timely data collection, analysis, and reporting, providing potentially actionable information that is superior to traditional data collection methods.
Brian King, director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), stated:
“Given the rapid evolution of the tobacco industry, we need flexible surveillance tools to keep pace and maximize public health protection. This new center is an important addition to our surveillance toolbox, facilitating the identification of emerging issues and providing information for timely action.”
The program is an interagency collaboration between the NIH and CTP to promote tobacco regulatory research. The effort is led by the Center for Rapid Tobacco Surveillance at Rutgers University and involves a large number of partners, including federal scientific staff from the CDC, NIH and CTP.
Cristine Delnevo, director of Rutgers University’s Center for Tobacco Research and principal investigator of the Rapid Surveillance Center, said:
“Rapid Tobacco Surveillance will not only help the FDA make appropriate enforcement and regulatory responses, but will also help assess the impact of pending policy changes, and our aim is to monitor market and consumer changes in as much real time as possible.”
It is understood that the National Institutes of Health (NIH), located in Bethesda, Maryland, and part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the premier biomedical research agency in the U.S. federal government. Its goal is to explore the fundamentals of the nature of life and behavior and to apply them fully to extend human life and to prevent, diagnose, and treat various diseases and disabilities.