Earlier this week, President Obama signed legislation granting authority over tobacco products to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Some of the key elements of this legislation include:
New Center for Tobacco Products: FDA will create a new Center for Tobacco Products to oversee the science-based regulation of tobacco products in the United States.
Banning Candy-Flavored Cigarettes: By October 2009, cigarettes will be prohibited from having candy, fruit, and spice flavors as their characterizing flavors.
Full Disclosure of Ingredients and Additives: By January 2010, tobacco manufacturers and importers will submit information to FDA in their possession about ingredients and additives in tobacco products, a description of the nicotine content and delivery, and the health consequences of tobacco products.
Stopping Youth-Focused Marketing: By April 2010, FDA will issue the agency's 1996 regulation aimed at reducing young people's access to tobacco products and curbing the appeal of tobacco to the young. When the regulation becomes effective, a number of measures will take effect, including:
Tobacco manufacturers may no longer sponsor sporting, athletic, and entertainment events using tobacco product brand names and logos;
Tobacco manufacturers may no longer sell or give away clothing or other items which bear the brand name or logo of a tobacco product; and
Tobacco manufacturers will no longer be able to distribute free samples of cigarettes, and free samples of smokeless tobacco will be allowed only in adult-only facilities.
Prohibiting Other Marketing Measures Misleading Consumers: By July 2010, tobacco manufacturers may no longer use the terms "light," "low," and "mild" on tobacco products.
New Warning Labels: By July 2011, warning labels for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products will be revised and strengthened. Warnings will comprise the top 50 percent of the front and rear panels of the package. FDA will issue regulations requiring graphics on labels depicting the health risks of smoking.
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 also provides FDA with regulatory authority to regulate marketing and promotion of tobacco products and set performance standards for tobacco products to protect the public health.
Fact sheet: The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 (6/24)
June 24, 2009