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Health
FDA finalizes rule to limit tobacco advertising and sales


The Food and Drug Administration issued a final rule that restricts the marketing and sale of tobacco to minors and limits advertising of tobacco.

The rule, Regulations Restricting the Sale and Distribution of Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco to Protect Children and Adolescents, does the following:
• Prohibits the sale of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco to people younger than 18.
• Prohibits the sale of cigarette packages with fewer than 20 cigarettes.
• Prohibits the sale of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in vending machines, self-service displays, or other impersonal modes of sales, except in very limited situations.
• Prohibits free samples of cigarettes and limits distribution of smokeless tobacco products.

The rule also affects advertising in the following manner:
• Prohibits tobacco brand name sponsorship of any athletic, musical, or other social or cultural event, or any team or entry in those events.
• Prohibits gifts or other items in exchange for buying cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products.
• Requires that audio ads use only words with no music or sound effects.
• Prohibits the sale or distribution of items, such as hats and tee shirts, with tobacco brands or logos.

The rule applies to all "retailers" and "manufacturers," definitions that presumably include tribal entities. It goes into effect on June 22.

The rule was first proposed in 1995 but held back after the U.S. Supreme Court said the FDA could not regulate tobacco without an act of Congress.

President Barack Obama signed the H.R.1256, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, into law last June.

Get the Story:
New FDA rules will greatly restrict tobacco advertising and sales (The Washington Post 3/19)
Tobacco Rule Proposed in ’95 to Go Into Effect (The New York Times 3/19)

Related Stories:
Obama signs tobacco regulation bill into law (6/23)
Senate passes bill for FDA to regulate tobacco (6/12)
Coburn calls for ban on smoking and tobacco (6/5)
Coburn proposes anti-tribal provision in tobacco bill (6/3)