Trump taps Tom Price for Department of Health Secretary; Vaping industry hopeful
President-Elect Donald Trump is announcing Georgia Congressman Tom Price as his top pick for the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Service. While the selection was met with shockwaves through many parts of the Democratic Party, the U.S. vaping industry considers this a hopeful sign of things to come.
Rep. Price is one of the many politicians who actively opposed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, that Obama-spearheaded legislation that eventually led to the highly controversial FDA deeming regulations. Price has also publicly stated on several recent occasions that he will actively pursue the repeal of Obamacare and others of the current President’s pet projects.
If Tom Price is confirmed by the Republican-controlled Congress, which looks very likely, then he will automatically become the new overseer of the FDA and, consequently, Mitch Zeller’s new boss. Zeller is loathed by the U.S. vaping community largely because he is the man primarily responsible for designing the FDA regulations in the first place.
Rep. Tom Price: No stranger to controversy
The 62-year-old orthopedic surgeon is also a six-term Congressman and the Chairman of the House Budget Committee for the past two years. He is from the conservative suburbs of Atlanta and has worked very closely with House Speaker Paul Ryan on GOP budgets and annual deficits. Price has also taken some very tough stances on a wide range of social issues, including an open opposition to abortion rights, gay marriage, and job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The man is definitely “opinionated,” but one this is certain. Tom Price is not afraid to speak his mind, regardless of public opinion or personal or political consequences.
(Related Article: TRUMP PROMISES ‘FDA REFORM;’ BIG PHARMA & VAPING INDUSTRIES TAKE NOTICE)
This in-your-face sort of rhetoric could serve the vaping industry well. Current surveys largely indicate that a vast majority of the American People believe much of the false news being spread by anti-tobacco groups, the FDA, and the CDC regarding e-cigs and vaping.
Even though major scientific institutions like the Royal College of Physicians have aggressively stated on numerous occasions that vaping is 95% safer and healthier than smoking, the American People still seem to equate vaping and smoking as essentially the same act.
What Democrats are saying about Tom Price
Price doesn’t seem to care much about “public opinion,” especially if those opinions are coming from Democrats. When Sen. Chuck Schumer, the new Minority Leader, was asked to offer his opinion on the Trump appointment, Schumer made the following statement.
“Nominating Congressman Price to be the HHS secretary is akin to asking the fox to guard the hen house.”
Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi, Minority Lead in the House, issued a similarly vengeful declaration.
“In Chairman Tom Price, President-elect Trump has a Secretary of Health and Human Services who has long dedicated himself to weakening the health care and human services of hard-working families. The budget is a statement of values, and in years of extreme House GOP budget proposals, Chairman Price has made his radical, destructive values perfectly clear.”
But the Democrats are not in power, not in the House, the Senate, or the White House. While a repeal of the FDA deeming regulations may not be high on the list of immediate priorities come January 20, both Trump and Price seem to be like most Republicans. They tend to despise Big Government and over-regulation, regardless of the industry.
The U.S. vaping industry has yet another glimmer of hope that the FDA deeming regulations might very soon be null and void. The War on Vaping isn’t over yet.
(Image courtesy of CAROLYN KASTER/AP)