Independent oversight needed for studies on modified-risk tobacco, IOM says

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 9, 2012

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Companies that manufacture modified-risk tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and tobacco lozenges should use third parties to oversee product research, says a Dec. 14 Institute of Medicine report.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 requires makers of such products to receive pre-market approval and provide the Food and Drug Administration scientific proof of the benefits of lower-risk tobacco products to users and the general population.

Having independent oversight would help address widespread mistrust of tobacco company-sponsored research and provide some assurance that research submitted to the FDA is reliable, the report said (link).

"Having trusted third parties oversee the conduct of research could help re-engage scientists and enable a generation of credible research data on the health effects of these products," said Jane Henney, MD, chair of the committee that wrote the report and a professor of medicine and public health sciences at the University of Cincinnati.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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