As part of the compromise brokered between health advocates and Big Tobacco, certain elements of the FDA Regulation of Tobacco had phase in periods. Starting June 22 this year a number of different regulations will go into effect.
As previously discussed on our blog terms like "light," "mild," and "low" are prohibited from packaging.
Other provisions include:
- Larger, stronger warnings on smokeless tobacco product packaging and advertisements.
- The removal of vending machines in facilities where youth under 18 are present. Vending machines would still be allowable in businesses which cater to adults only.
- Product branded t-shirts, hats, and other swag are prohibited from being sold along with a tobacco product- say good bye to packs of Marlboro with a free T-shirt!
- Cigarettes may not be sold in packages fewer than 20. (Smaller packages are rare, now they will be completely eliminated.)
- All advertising for both cigarettes and smokeless products must be in plain black text on a white background. Magazine ads must be placed in publications with fewer than 2 million youth readers.
- Commercials for tobacco will change too- they can only be spoken words no music or jingles. Adult only facilities may allow audio ads with jingles or the like.
- No billboards or other outdoor advertisements are permitted within 1000 feet of schools, parks or playgrounds.
- Sponsoring cultural and athletic events is a thing of the past as well. No smokeless at the rodeo and no Phillip Morris at the baseball game.
- No free samples of tobacco, except smokeless in adult-only venues which meet certain restrictions.
Over the next few days check back on our blog to learn a little bit more about some of these provisions. Tobacco control waited a long time to finally rein in Big Tobacco in more meaningful ways. Despite compromises and delays this is a landmark piece of legislation which will ultimately reduce the burden of tobacco for generations to come. It looks like the hammer has finally dropped on Big Tobacco.