Known as the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, this bill puts significant emphasis on protecting our young people through strict control of advertising and products specifically aimed at minors. The bill is heartily supported by both Republicans and Democrats.
While the FDA will not have the authority to ban tobacco products completely, it will have power in a number of areas that affect consumers.
Tobacco Manufacturing and Control:
- Ingredient disclosure -- tobacco companies and importers of tobacco products will be required to list out all ingredients in their products.
- Ingredient control -- the FDA will have the authority to require tobacco companies to remove or reduce harmful ingredients in tobacco products.
- New products -- tobacco companies must seek FDA approval for new tobacco products.
- Ban candy flavorings -- The FDA will ban the use of kid-friendly additives such as fruit and candy flavors in tobacco products.
- Advertising -- the bill will limit marketing meant to attract young smokers.
- Warning labels -- the FDA will require tobacco companies to post larger and stronger messages about the hazards of smoking on tobacco packaging.
- "Light", "Mild", "Low" -- misleading words that tobacco companies will no longer be able to use to describe their products.
While this legislation isn't perfect, it is a giant step in the right direction. Let's hope that from here, the U.S. government and others around the world will continue to tighten control over tobacco products that threaten to steal a human life every three seconds by the year 2030, if current smoking trends continue, unchecked.