As the official sponsor of birthdays, the American Cancer Society has every reason to be proud of a “toddler” celebrating its third birthday this year. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act – aka the Tobacco Control Act – was strongly supported by ACS and ACS CAN and signed into law by President Barack Obama on June 22, 2009.
For the first time and after nearly 2 decades of debate, this historic legislation gave the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate tobacco products. In doing so, Congress enabled the FDA to establish the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), which is charged with regulating the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products in order to reduce tobacco use by children under 18 and protect public health.
More specifically, the Tobacco Control Act authorizes the FDA to act in a number of ways, including:
- Restricting tobacco sales, distribution, and marketing
- Requiring stronger health warnings on packaging and in advertisements
- Requiring disclosure of tobacco product ingredients
- Reducing (but not eliminating) the amount of nicotine in tobacco products
- Creating standards for tobacco products
- Regulating “modified risk” (i.e. potentially harm reducing) tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes, snus, dissolvables, etc.