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Changes Proposed to the Tobacco Control Act

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which became law on June 22, 2009, gave the FDA the authority to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products. On March 30, 2012, the FDA announced two proposed amendments to the rules and posted them for public comments until June 4, 2012.

The first proposed amendment is to require tobacco companies to list the quantities of 20 specified ingredients associated with lung and other tobacco-related diseases on consumer-friendly tobacco packaging by April 2013. Tobacco and tobacco smoke contain an estimated 7,000 chemicals according to the FDA; the top 20 harmful ingredients include formaldehyde, nicotine, arsenic, cadmium, ammonia and carbon monoxide.

The second FDA action announced that tobacco companies must back up any claims they make, if they want to market a tobacco product as "less risky" to health. In the proposed new rules, tobacco companies must have all claims supported by science.

The Tobacco Control Act preserves the authority of state, local, and tribal governments to regulate tobacco products in certain specific respects. It also prohibits, with certain exceptions, state and local requirements that are different from, or in addition to, requirements under the provisions of the FDCA relating to specified areas. More information about the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act can be found at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/TobaccoProducts/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/UCM246207.pdf.
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