Advertising and Marketing
On June 22, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act), giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) comprehensive authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of tobacco products. The Tobacco Control Act contains several provisions related to the retail environment. Perhaps most notably, the law mandated restrictions on the sales, marketing, and advertising of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.
The Tobacco Control Act expands the ability of state and local governments to regulate tobacco product advertising. It also prohibits tobacco products from being marketed with health descriptors such as “light,” “mild,” or “low,” unless the FDA has specifically approved the marketing.
Additionally, the Tobacco Control Act created new requirements for warnings for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, both on the products themselves and on any advertising for the product – including advertisements in retail stores. Cigarette packages and cigarette advertising must contain specific textual warnings. The law also requires the FDA to create warnings that graphically depict the dangers of cigarette smoking, and it created new text warnings for smokeless tobacco packages and advertising.
This section contains background information and resources on the advertising and marketing of tobacco products. It covers topics such as policy considerations for communities interested in placing restrictions on tobacco advertising, as well as the regulation of tobacco products at the local, state, and federal level.