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Tobacco Control Legislation in United States of America
Tobacco control is regulated by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act) became law on June 22, 2009. It gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products to protect public health.

The FDA has the authority to implement the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The requires bigger, bolder warning labels for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products and restricts cigarettes and smokeless tobacco retail sales and tobacco product advertising and marketing to youth.

 

Authority of the FDA:

– Register and inspect tobacco companies.

– Standards for manufacturing tobacco products:

  • Allows FDA to require changes to tobacco products (for example, tar and nicotine levels) to protect public health.
  • Bans flavored cigarettes (except menthol).

– “Premarket Review” of new tobacco products:

  • Requires manufacturers who wish to market a new tobacco product to obtain a marketing order from FDA prior to marketing that new product.

– “Modified risk” products

  • Requires manufacturers who wish to market a tobacco product with a claim of reduced harm to obtain a marketing order from FDA.

– Enforcement action plan for advertising and promotion restrictions

  • FDA published a document entitled “Enforcement Action Plan for Promotion and Advertising Restrictions.”
  • The action plan details FDA’s current enforcement strategy on how it intends to enforce certain requirements established by the Tobacco Control Act.

A copy of the action plan can be obtained from the FDA website

 

What the FDA cannot do:

  • Ban an entire class of tobacco products  – Sec. 907
  • Require the total elimination of nicotine from tobacco products  – Sec. 907
  • Require prescriptions to purchase tobacco products  – Sec. 906
  • Regulate tobacco farming  – Sec. 901
  • Ban tobacco sales in any particular type of sales outlet  – Sec. 906

A copy of the Act can be obtained from the FDA website: FDA website


Menthol cigarettes
Presently, the FDA, is considering whether menthol flavoured cigarettes should be prohibited. The FDA had conducted public hearings, after which the FDA will make a recommendation in terms of section 907(e) of the Act, to the “Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the impact of the use of menthol in cigarettes on the public health”.

Packaging and Labeling
The FDA published the new required warnings which consist of nine new textual warning