WASHINGTON — This month marks the third anniversary of the passage and implementation of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the federal law that authorized the FDA to regulate cigarettes, roll-your-own and smokeless tobacco products.
Over the past three years, some of the major tobacco regulations have included the banning of the sale of cigarettes with a characterizing flavor, the prohibition of self-service displays in retail stores (except in age-restricted tobacco shops), restrictions on advertising claims and the release of nine text and graphic picture cigarette health warnings. The cigarette health warnings are now the subject of two federal lawsuits resulting in a delay of the original effective date of Sept. 22, 2012.
Other significant regulations that are either pending or expected to be issued soon include: (1) a proposed retail violation reporting form that will allow members of the public to report potential retail violations directly to the FDA via smartphone, the Internet, by phone, or mail; and (2) a set of proposed regulations that the FDA has announced will apply to other tobacco products, such as cigars, pipe tobacco and electronic cigarettes.
Regarding the violation reporting form, please note that the federal Office of Management and Budget is now reviewing the violation reporting form and needs to decide whether to approve the use of the form by the FDA. As to the announcement regarding regulations on other tobacco products, the Tobacco Control Act granted the FDA the authority to extend regulations to other products besides cigarettes, roll-your-own and smokeless tobacco.