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FDA Appoints Tobacco Advisory Panel Members

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The health impacts of menthol in cigarettes will be on the agenda when the new U.S. Food and Drug Administration tobacco advisory panel holds its first meeting at the end of March.

On Monday, the agency named nine members of the 12-person panel, which will include three nonvoting members representing the tobacco industry. The panel will advise the FDA on a range of tobacco-related public health, science and regulatory issues, the Associated Press reported.

Of the nine members named Monday, seven are health professionals, one represents state governments, and another represents the general public. The panel chair is Dr. Jonathan Samet, director of the University of Southern California's Institute for Global Health and former director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at Johns Hopkins University.

"The breadth of knowledge amassed by this highly qualified group will supplement and enhance the agency's understanding of tobacco control, prevention and health promotion issues," said Dr. Lawrence Deyton, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, the AP reported.

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