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The State of Vape: Dr. Stephen Hahn

December 17, 2019

The State of Vape: Dr. Stephen Hahn

The state of vape has become more interesting due to Dr. Stephen Hahn’s appointment as FDA commissioner. The eJuices.co team has been researching Dr. Hahn’s positions on vaping. We want our customers to know some of his positions on vaping so that you know the right course of action to take for your vape shop or retail establishment.

Who is Dr. Stephen Hahn?

Dr. Hahn was born on January 22, 1960, and received his education at Rice University and Temple University, receiving his M.D. from the latter in 1984. After a stint as a medical and radiation oncologist in Santa Rosa, California, he worked at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) from 1989 to 1995. Dr. Hahn was also a commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and was also the chief of the NCI’s Prostate Cancer Clinic in the Clinical Pharmacology Branch from 1993 to 1999. 

Dr. Hahn’s vast background in cancer treatment led to another position as radiation and medical oncologist at the University of Pennsylvania in 1996. He became a National Institute of Health (NIH)-funded researcher and was the Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Radiation Oncology during his time at UPenn. He consistently ranked first or second in NIH funding, showing Dr. Hahn’s track record of successfully applying for NIH grants and funding. Dr. Hahn stayed at UPenn until 2014. He was appointed as the Division Head of Radiation Oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas in 2015, and became the Chief Medical Executive at MD Anderson in 2018.

President Donald Trump nominated Dr. Hahn for the FDA Commissioner job in November 2019 to succeed Scott Gottlieb, who stepped down in April. Since the position requires Senate confirmation, the Senate voted 72-18 to confirm Dr. Hahn on December 12, 2019, making him the 24th FDA Commissioner in United States history.

What is Dr. Hahn’s stance on vaping?

The vaping crisis has been a focal point for the FDA over the past few months. During his hearings, Dr. Hahn sidestepped many questions regarding vaping. This makes it unclear where Dr. Hahn’s allegiances lie, but he said he would follow the “science and evidence” on vaping. One of the vaping industry’s biggest critics, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), said, “Dr. Hahn said to me that he doesn’t want to be known in history as the head of the FDA who saw this epidemic grow dramatically.” This may be in conflict with Dr. Hahn’s own words about following the “science and evidence” on vaping, but nothing is known about Dr. Hahn’s positions as of this writing. 

Durbin is the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate and is known for his aggressive approach to regulating the vaping industry, supporting legislation that will place new taxes on e-cigarettes and restrict flavors to discourage underage use, although flavors have been essential in helping people switch to vaping. Durbin’s anti-smoking stances have been well known for years, dating back to his time in the U.S. House of Representatives, when he represented Illinois’s 20th district from 1983 to 1997. He has taken a similar stance on the vaping industry, even calling the vaping industry “Big Vape” in one of his press releases.

We hope that Dr. Hahn will follow the “science and evidence” on vaping and consider the position of the vaping industry when he makes his policy decisions. The eJuices.co team advises all of its customers to keep abreast of the latest in regulation and policy regarding vaping. You can find out how to advocate on behalf of your business here. If you have any further questions, you can always contact your eJuices.co account executive or sales representative.


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