FDA Authority over Tobacco Products

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act) requires major changes to the manufacturing, sales and marketing of tobacco products. Since 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) has prohibited the sale of candy-flavored cigarettes; put into place a rule that restricts the sale of tobacco products to kids; and demanded internal tobacco industry research documents about how these deadly products are made and marketed.

Regulating All Tobacco Products

The Tobacco Control Act gave FDA immediate authority over cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. The Tobacco Control Act also gave FDA the ability to then assert authority or “deem” jurisdiction over all other tobacco products, including cigars, e-cigarettes, little cigars, hookah and pipe tobacco, many of which are included in a report published by the American Lung Association about the next generation of tobacco products that are being used to target kids.

Despite announcing in 2011 that it would assert jurisdiction over tobacco products other than cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, the Obama Administration and FDA have failed to move forward with asserting that authority. Until this occurs, there is no federal oversight or restrictions in place to protect the public health of our nation, and especially the health of our children, from these other tobacco products. In the absence of any federal oversight, the use of cigars and e-cigarettes among youth and vulnerable populations has exploded.

The American Lung Association has issued this statement regarding e-cigarettes.

About the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act

On June 22, 2009, President Obama signed the Tobacco Control Act into law — giving the FDA authority to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and sale of tobacco products to protect the public health. Until this historic day, tobacco products were virtually unregulated by the federal government.

The American Lung Association worked for more than 20 years to see this law passed, and is working today to see that it is enforced and the terrible burden caused by tobacco use is reduced.