Prof. Michael Siegel, of BostonUniversity’s School of Public Health, believes that Mitch Zeller J.D. will likely take “a much more hard-line approach” in his dealings with the tobacco industry than did his predecessor, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal relayed by the TMA.
Siegel was commenting on the appointment of Zeller as the new director of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products, effective March 4.
Siegel expressed concerns that Zeller’s work in recent years with consultants Pinney Associates, where he advised pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, represented a conflict of interest as the FDA considered how to regulate electronic cigarettes.
Siegel said that many researchers viewed electronic cigarettes as being far less harmful than were traditional cigarettes, and a potential rival to the FDA-approved pharmaceutical smoking cessation aids.