By Brian King, Director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products
December 18, 2023
Earlier this year, in response to an evaluation by an independent expert panel facilitated by the Reagan-Udall Foundation, I announced that the Center for Tobacco Products had initiated the development of a new comprehensive 5-year strategic plan, to be published by the end of 2023. Since that time, the development of a new strategic plan has been a key center priority and informed by engagement with an array of external stakeholders through a public comment period and listening session.
Today, I am pleased to share CTP’s new strategic plan, which outlines the center’s programmatic and workforce initiatives for the next five years. CTP’s Strategic Plan represents a new chapter that builds upon the strong foundation that was established and has been cultivated since the center’s inception in 2009. Guided by this plan, CTP aims to reduce the negative health effects caused by tobacco use by ensuring a well-regulated marketplace, preventing people from starting to use tobacco products, encouraging people who use tobacco products to quit, and reducing the harm caused by tobacco product use.
Overview of the Plan
As part of the development of the strategic plan, we also refreshed CTP’s vision and mission statements to reflect our work more accurately and to guide future activities. These updates included highlighting the public health focus of the center’s activities and the importance of advancing health equity.
CTP’s Strategic Plan defines five goals, 10 outcomes, and several corresponding objectives. As outlined in the goals and outcomes in the plan, the center is collectively committed to issuing impactful regulations, using robust science to inform application reviews, pursuing timely and impactful compliance and enforcement strategies, and educating the public about the risks of tobacco products. We will also continue to invest in our staff—our greatest resource—by advancing operational enhancements and supporting the further development of our highly qualified, inclusive, and high-performing workforce.
Woven throughout this programmatic work is an unwavering commitment to advance four key overarching themes that are common to all the goals of the strategic plan: science, health equity, stakeholder engagement, and transparency.
In conjunction with the strategic plan, today we also published the center’s policy agenda of rules and guidance documents that are in development or planned for development. This policy agenda will create a more efficient approach to meeting CTP’s strategic plan and will be updated annually.
Development of the Plan
To develop the strategic plan, CTP worked with colleagues in the FDA Office of Operation’s Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Risk Management. Throughout the process, the center shared routine public updates on the plan’s development, issued proposed goal areas and cross-cutting themes, and collected internal and external feedback in a variety of ways. All CTP staff were given opportunities to provide feedback on the strategic plan, and the center also collected external feedback from the public during summer 2023.
In July, CTP published a Federal Register notice to solicit external comments on the development of the strategic plan, and over 2,400 comments were submitted. Additionally, a public listening session was held on Aug. 22. A total of 550 people attended and 59 people provided a verbal public comment; all those who requested to provide a verbal public comment were given the opportunity to do so. Comments included varied perspectives on a broad spectrum of topics related to tobacco regulation, and ultimately provided CTP with a comprehensive array of information to consider as the center finalized the plan.
Implementation of the Strategic Plan
Specific activities stemming from the goals, outcomes, and objectives outlined in the plan will be announced as they are implemented over the coming months, and years. In implementing this plan, CTP will utilize data and analytics to regularly track and monitor progress and make necessary adjustments to key activities to reflect challenges and maximize opportunities. Routine updates will be provided to the public on these activities, as appropriate.
As the center releases the new strategic plan and looks ahead to the next five years, we recognize this as a critical moment in the history of tobacco product regulation in the United States. With these guiding components in hand, I am confident CTP’s Strategic Plan and our center’s staff will meaningfully advance our mission to protect the public health from tobacco-related death and disease.