The Food and Drug Administration recently asked customers to let them know if they use a tobacco product they believe is defective, or one that tastes or smells strange. A new category for tobacco products was added to the Department of Health and Human Services Safety Reporting Portal. The category is the newest standard for consumers and professionals to inform the FDA about any possible health or safety problems concerning tobacco. Customers used to report problems through MedWatch, an FDA program through the Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program. This system did not ask questions targeted to tobacco products. A chief with the Center for Tobacco Products said despite a safe tobacco product not existing, the FDA can help prevent potential issues due to tobacco products, such as health and safety problems beyond those linked with tobacco product use. The FDA is requesting reports from consumers regarding any damaged, contaminated, or defective product including those containing mold. Or, if the product just tastes or smells bad, they would like to hear about this in order to improve public health. The FDA would also like to know if tobacco product users experience any other problems that are a result of a tobacco product. These issues may include fires, burns, or other injuries including exposure to children, allergies, poisoning, or other strange reactions experienced by long-time smokers.
Other problems they want to hear about include those with labeling, packing, product mix-up’s, quality issues, malfunctioning, or foreign objects found inside the product by professionals. Health problems such as unusual symptoms, burns, and allergic reactions can also be reported to the FDA. They also accept information about fertility issues and accidental ingestion. The FDA is asking for reports on a variety of products such as cigarettes, tobacco, and roll-your-own cigarettes, as well as electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars, and any other product that is derived from tobacco. Customers and health professionals who would like to report problems may continue to report them through the MedWatch program.
The FDA will use these reports concerning tobacco products to help make sure they are regulated as necessary. They will evaluate all reports and take steps to help make sure public health is protected. The FDA may also request further information or samples. They cannot provide advice to consumers, and if there is a medical emergency customers are asked to reach a health care professional immediately, according to news reports.