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Implications and challenges for implementation of the FDA’s final deeming rule for waterpipe tobacco
  1. Erin L Sutfin1,
  2. Eric K Soule2,
  3. Karma McKelvey3,
  4. Desmond Jenson4
  1. 1 Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
  2. 2 Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA
  3. 3 Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
  4. 4 Tobacco Control Legal Consortium, a program of the Public Health Law Center, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, St Paul, MN, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Erin L Sutfin, Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem 27157, NC, USA; esutfin{at}


For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDAs) Center for Tobacco Products now has regulatory authority over all tobacco products, including waterpipe tobacco. In the rule expanding its authority to cover all tobacco products, the FDA uses largely a one-size-fits-all approach. However, several aspects of waterpipe tobacco smoking make it unique from other tobacco products, which may require more specific, tailored rules. This paper describes the distinct features of waterpipe tobacco products and accessories, and identifies unique challenges to the current regulation posed by this form of tobacco use. Additionally, we highlight the need for further research-generated evidence to support additional rulemaking.

  • public policy
  • non-cigarette tobacco products
  • packaging and labelling

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  • Contributors ELS and EKS developed the concept for this paper. All authors contributed substantially to the writing and revising of this paper. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding EKS was supported by the National Institutes of Health under Grant Number P50DA036105 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Center for Tobacco Products of the US Food and Drug Administration. KM was supported by NIH/NCI Grant No. T32 CA113710-11. DJ was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

  • Disclaimer The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH, the FDA or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.