Tobacco Regulation Bill Becomes Law
Article date: June 22, 2009
By Rebecca V. Snowden
President Barack Obama has signed into law a sweeping tobacco bill that will drastically change how tobacco is regulated and marketed in the United States.
The legislation, known as "The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act," grants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) power over the sale, production, and marketing of cigarettes and other tobacco products. It also includes provisions specifically designed to decrease youth smoking.
"Today, thanks to the work of Democrats and Republicans, health care and consumer advocates, the decades-long effort to protect our children from the harmful effects of tobacco has emerged victorious. Today, change has come to Washington," said President Obama during the bill signing ceremony at the White House Rose Garden. "This law will save American lives and make Americans healthier."
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the bill by overwhelming margins earlier this month.
John R. Seffrin, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of the American Cancer Society and its advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), called the law "lifesaving."
"Forty-Five years after tobacco smoke was first found to be hazardous to health, tobacco products will finally be regulated - products which kill more than 400,000 people in America each year," said Seffrin. "This lifesaving new law has the potential to break the deadly cycle of addiction and put an end to Big Tobacco’s targeting of our nation’s children."
The bill requires cigarette makers disclose product ingredients to the FDA and prohibits them from using misleading labels such as "low tar" or "light" on cigarette packages. It also imposes bans on candy- and fruit-flavored cigarettes, which often appeal to kids and teenagers. The bill also holds tobacco companies to marketing restrictions – for example, they will no longer be allowed to advertise near schools or sponsor entertainment and sporting events.
The American Cancer Society's advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN, worked tirelessly in support of this bill.
"Today’s signing culminates an effort of more than a decade to regulate a rogue industry whose business is addiction," said Daniel E. Smith, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). "Every day, 3,500 children pick up their first cigarette and 1,000 children become addicted smokers. This law will help to reduce youth smoking and help save lives."
Reviewed by: Members of the ACS Medical Content Staff
ACS News Center stories are provided as a source of cancer-related news and are not intended to be used as press releases.
Thank you for your feedback.