A Food and Drug Administration official with considerable power over authorization decisions for e-cigarettes and products aimed at curbing smoking resigned on Tuesday to work for Philip Morris International, the global tobacco conglomerate and maker of Marlboros.
The official, Matt Holman, was chief of the office of science in the agency’s Center for Tobacco Products. In a memo to the staff on Tuesday, Brian King, the center’s director, wrote that Dr. Holman had announced that he would be leaving — effective immediately — to join Philip Morris. The memo said Dr. Holman had been on leave and, consistent with agency ethics policies, had recused himself from all tobacco center work “while exploring career opportunities outside of government.”
Mr. King lauded Dr. Holman’s 20 years of work at the F.D.A., where he has in recent years been “preparing for and overseeing review” of marketing applications for e-cigarettes and other nicotine-delivery products. Dr. Holman said in an interview on Wednesday that his exact role at Philip Morris had so far been broadly defined but added that he would work on tobacco harm-reduction efforts and provide some input on regulatory submissions to the agency.