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State of Tobacco Control 2018State of Tobacco Control 2018State of Tobacco Control 2018

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Regulation of Tobacco Products

Since the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act giving FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products in June 2009, the grading system for this category has been based on how FDA is implementing its new authority, and whether Congress is providing full funding to FDA with no policy riders to limit their authority.

The American Lung Association has identified four important items that FDA was required by the Tobacco Control Act to implement or that FDA indicated they would take action on:

  1. A rule asserting authority over all other tobacco products besides cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco – also known as the "deeming" rule;
  2. Issuing at least one product standard to reduce the toxicity, addictiveness and/or appeal of cigarettes and other tobacco products;
  3. Requiring large, graphic cigarette warning labels that cover the top 50 percent of the front and back of cigarette packs; and
  4. Implementation of the recommendations on menthol in tobacco products from FDA's Tobacco Product Scientific Advisory Committee.

Points were awarded on how FDA implemented these four items as well as whether Congress funded FDA's Center for Tobacco Products at the levels called for in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

The FDA regulation of tobacco products grade breaks down as follows:

Grade

Points Earned

A

18 to 20 Total Points

B

16 to 17 Total Points

C

14 to 15 Total Points

D

12 to 13 Total Points

F

Under 12 Total Points

Implementation of Final “Deeming” Rule Giving FDA Authority over All Tobacco Products

Target is implementation of final rule that gives FDA authority over all tobacco products in addition to cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.

  • +4 points: Deeming rule fully implemented without additional delay.
  • +2 points: FDA only implementing portions of deeming rule.
  • +0 points: FDA postpones implementation of the entire rule.

Product Standards (4 points)

Target is FDA issues a product standard to reduce the toxicity, addictiveness and/or appeal of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

  • +4 points: Strong product standard that will be appropriate for the protection of public health that will reduce the toxicity, addictiveness and/or appeal of cigarettes and other tobacco products is finalized.
  • +1 points: Strong product standard that will be appropriate for the protection of public health that will reduce the toxicity, addictiveness and/or appeal of cigarettes and other tobacco products is proposed.
  • +0 points: No strong product standard is issued or proposed.

Graphic Cigarette Warning Labels (4 points)

Target is FDA requires large, graphic cigarette warning labels that cover the top 50 percent of the front and back of cigarette packs.

  • +4 points: FDA requires large, graphic cigarette warning labels that cover the top 50 percent of the front and back of cigarette packs.
  • +1 points: FDA proposes large, graphic cigarette warning labels that cover the top 50 percent of the front and back of cigarette packs.
  • +0 points: No graphic warning label requirement is issued.

Implementation of the Menthol Report by the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (4 points)

Target is FDA takes action to implement recommendations from 2011 report on menthol in tobacco products from the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee.

  • +4 points: Strong product standard is finalized that will be appropriate for the protection of public health that will eliminate menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes.
  • +1 points: Strong product standard is proposed that will be appropriate for the protection of public health that will eliminate menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes.
  • +0 points: No strong product standard is issued.

Funding for FDA Center for Tobacco Products (4 points)

Target is Congress provides funding for FDA Center for Tobacco Products at levels called for in Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act without attaching limiting policy riders.

  • +4 points: Congress provides full funding without attaching limiting policy riders.
  • +2 points: Congress provides full funding but with policy riders.
  • +1 points: Congress provides funding at a level inconsistent with the Tobacco Control Act.
  • +0 points: No funding at all provided.

    Did You Know?

    1. More than 1 in 5 high school students in the U.S. use at least one tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, according to the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
    2. 7.2 percent of middle school students use at least one tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, according to the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
    3. A 2014 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that about 8 million lives have been saved through tobacco control efforts since 1964, including 800,000 lung cancer deaths between 1975 and 2000.
    4. Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing over 480,000 people per year.
    5. Secondhand smoke kills more than 41,000 people in the U.S. each year.
    6. 28 states and Washington D.C. have passed laws making virtually all public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars smokefree.
    7. Connecticut and New York have the highest cigarette taxes in the country at $4.35 per pack.
    8. Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in the country at 17 cents per pack.
    9. The average of all states plus the District of Columbia's cigarette taxes are $1.72 per pack.
    10. Ten states have taxes on other tobacco products equivalent to their state's cigarette taxes.
    11. Alaska is the only state that is funding their tobacco control programs at or above the CDC-recommended level (in Fiscal Year 2018).
    12. Three states increased their cigarette taxes in 2017.
    13. No state approved a comprehensive smokefree workplace law in 2017.
    14. 9 states – California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio and South Carolina– offer a comprehensive cessation benefit to tobacco users on Medicaid.
    15. Each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia provide tobacco quitlines, a phone number for quit smoking phone counseling. The median amount states invest in quitlines is $2.10 per smoker in the state.
    16. Maine, New Jersey and Oregon passed legislation increasing their minimum sales ages for tobacco products to 21 in 2017.
    17. Five states and over 280 communities in 18 different states have passed Tobacco 21 laws.
    18. Nationwide, the Medicaid program spends more than $22 billion in healthcare costs for smoking-related diseases each year – more than 11 percent of total Medicaid spending.
    19. In 2009, the American Lung Association played a key role in the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority over tobacco products.
    20. The American Lung Association played a key role in airplanes becoming smokefree in the 1990s.
    21. 42 states and Washington D.C. spend less than half of what the CDC recommends on their state tobacco prevention programs.
    22. States spend less than three cents of every dollar they get from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes to fight tobacco use.
    23. Each day, more than 2,300 kids under 18 try their first cigarette and close to 400 kids become new, regular smokers.
    24. Each day, close to 1,900 kids try their first cigar. On average, close to 80 kids try their first cigar every hour in the United States – equaling close to 690,000 every year.
    25. Smoking costs the U.S. economy over $332 billion in direct health care costs and lost productivity every year.
    26. The five largest cigarette companies spent over $22 million dollars per day marketing their products in 2015.
    27. Secondhand smoke causes $5.6 billion in lost productivity in the U.S. each year.
    28. Smoking rates are over twice as high for Medicaid recipients compared to those with private insurance.
    29. A 2013 study of California's tobacco prevention program shows that the state saved $55 in healthcare costs for every $1 invested from 1989 to 2008.
    30. A 2012 study of Massachusetts' comprehensive Medicaid quit smoking benefit found that Massachusetts saved $3 for every $1 spent helping smokers quit in just over a year.
    31. In 2017, Kentucky and South Carolina made major improvements to their quit smoking coverage for Medicaid enrollees and others.
    32. Uninsured Americans smoke at a rate two times higher than people with private insurance.
    33. An estimated one third of Americans living in public housing smoke.
    34. One study found persons with behavioral health and substance abuse disorders consume about 40 percent of the cigarettes sold in the U.S.
    35. Native Americans and Alaska Natives have the highest smoking rates among any racial/ethnic group.
    Get more facts »

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