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Monday, 22 March 2010 00:47

FDA: Cigarette companies will not market to kids

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been given the federal power to implement countrywide rules that bans the sale and marketing of tobacco products to children and teenagers and provides restrictions in other areas of the tobacco and cigarette business.

 


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) attempted to restrict tobacco advertising to children in 1996. However, the tobacco industry successfully countered those attempts with lawsuits that stated the FDA did not have the authority to restrict tobacco advertising in the United States.

Consequently, over the next thirteen years, public health groups and health-conscious individuals led the struggle to pass this new law that does give the right and power to the FDA to ban tobacco products for children and teenagers and to regulate tobacco products for all citizens of the United States.

Legislation was passed in the U.S. Congress in June 2009 that gives the power to the FDA to regulate tobacco products for children under the age of 18 years.

That legislation goes into effect on June 22, 2010.

Sponsored by U.S. representative Henry Waxman (Democrat, California) and 178 other co-sponsors), it is called the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (H.R. 1256).

It states the following: 'To protect the public health by providing the Food and Drug Administration with certain authority to regulate tobacco products, to amend title 5, United States Code, to make certain modifications in the Thrift Savings Plan, the Civil Service Retirement System, and the Federal Employees' Retirement System, and for other purposes.'

Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Health and Human Services, stated, 'Every day, nearly 4,000 kids under 18 try their first cigarette and 1,000 kids under 18 become daily smokers.' These rules will ''¦ help our kids stay healthy by making it harder for tobacco companies to target them with harmful and addictive products.' [Houston Chronicle (3.19.2010): 'Tobacco faces new FDA marketing restrictions']

Page two continues with the specific areas that the FDA will be regulating within the tobacco industry.

 


 

Some of the tobacco companies operating in the United States are Altria Group (formerly Philip Morris, based in Henrico County, Virginia), Lorillard Tobacco Company (based in Greensboro, North Carolina), and Reynolds American (formerly Brown & Williamson and formerly R.J. Reynolds, headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina).

Previously, cigarette companies, part of an $89 billion tobacco industry, were forced, through the use of lawsuits, to loosely adopt many rules to prevent tobacco sales to minors.

And, states tried to enforce such rules, with varying degrees of success.

However, this new legislation empowers the federal government to consistently enforce tobacco laws across the entire United States.

According to the FDA's new responsibilities, the new legislation prevents tobacco companies from:

'¢    sponsoring sporting or entertainment events,
'¢    providing free samples of tobacco products and giveaways of non-tobacco items with the purchase of tobacco products,
'¢    selling fruit- or candy-flavored cigarettes and smokeless tobacco,
'¢    using vending machines (unless they are placed behind the counter) and self-service displays, unless these items are in 'adult-only' stores,
'¢    using outdoor advertisements to be located close to schools,
'¢    using tobacco brand names on non-tobacco products.
'¢    selling cigarettes in packs of fewer than 20 cigarettes (which are often called 'kiddie packs' because they are less expensive that larger sized packs), and (most importantly)
'¢    selling tobacco to children younger than 18 years of age (photograph identification is required for over-the-counter sales).

The new laws does not allow the FDA to ban tobacco or nicotine (one of the main ingredients of tobacco), but it does provide the FDA with the ability to regulate the ingredients in tobacco products sold in the United States with respect to how they are distributed, sold, and marketed, especially to children and teenagers.

Page three continues with information on the newly created committee within the FDA that will carry out the newly established anti-tobacco law.

 



The legislation has been passed by the U.S. Senate and, later, by the U.S. House of Representatives, and is expected to be quickly signed into law by President Obama to give sweeping powers to the FDA to regulate tobacco products in the United States.

The FDA has already created the Center for Tobacco Products and a 12-member Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, which will carry out the new law. The FDA committee has the ability to write warning letters, levy fines and fees, and to issue criminal penalties, to violators based on the specifics of the law.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 20% of adults in the United States smoke cigarette. Consequently, smoking has become the largest cause of preventable death in the United States. About 443,000 people die each year directly from smoking of cigarettes.

The CDC webpage 'Tobacco and Disease' adds that worldwide:

'¢    'Tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year.'
'¢    'Current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030.'
'¢    'On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers.'

Page four concludes with organizations supporting the new anti-tobacco law, and those not supporting it.

 



According to Govtrack.us and Maplight.org, the following organizations do not support the new bill regulating tobacco products by the FDA:

American Association of Advertising Agencies
Lorillard Tobacco Company
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
Magazine Publishers of America
Competitive Enterprise Institute
American Council on Science and Health
American Advertising Federation
Association of National Advertisers
Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina
U.S. Tobacco Cooperative
Washington State Medical Association

According to the same two organizations, the following organizations support the new bill regulating tobacco products by the FDA:

National Education Association
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Heart Association
American Dental Education Association
American Medical Association
American Dental Association
American College of Cardiology
American Psychological Association
Hadassah
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

National Association of School Nurses
American Thoracic Society
United Church of Christ
Islamic Society of North America
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
American Association for Respiratory Care
American Lung Association
National African American Tobacco Prevention Network

Altria Group
American Society of Addiction Medicine
United Methodist Church
Philip Morris USA
American Dental Hygienists' Association
American Cancer Society
National Association of County and City Health Officials
National Hispanic Medical Association
American Baptist Churches USA
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Oncology Nursing Society
Seventh Day Adventists
Women's Christian Temperance Union
World Sikh-Council, American Region
International Parish Resource Center
Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance
Health Ministries Association
Church of the Brethren
Presbyterian Church, USA
National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA

National Episcopal Health Ministries
Christian Church
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
Church Women United
Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy
Children's Defense Fund
Lung Cancer Alliance
American Public Health Association
Institute of Medicine
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

American Association for Cancer Research
American College of Chest Physicians
American College of Preventive Medicine
American School Health Association
Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America
National Latino Council of Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention
Partnership for Prevention
Society for Public Health Education
American Society of Nuclear Cardiology
The Heart Failure Society of America

Heart Rythmn Society
Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography
Society for Vascular Medicine
American Academy of Pediatrics
LiveStrong: The Lance Armstrong Foundation
Delta Dental
Ohio State Medical Association
Investing in Tobacco-Free Youth
Directors of Health Promotion and Education
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Christian Action League of North Carolina
American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine

 


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