Weakening FDA’s Authority Over Tobacco Could Impact Use, Advocates Say
Weakening the Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory authority over tobacco could have an adverse impact on tobacco use, according to advocacy groups.
Tobacco companies and the federal government reached an agreement on publishing statements about the dangers of smoking, the Associated Press reports. The “corrective statements” will say the companies lied about the health effects of cigarettes.
The agreement requires the tobacco companies to disclose the health effects of smoking, including the fact that cigarettes kill an average of 1,200 people a day. Each tobacco company must publish a full-page ad in the Sunday edition of 35 newspapers, and on the papers’ websites. The ads also must air on prime-time television spots on CBS, ABC or NBC five times a week for a year.
The companies will be required to include the statements on a certain number of cigarette packs three times per year for two years, and publish the statements on their websites, the AP notes.
In July 2012 a federal appeals court upheld a federal judge’s order that required tobacco manufacturers to run corrective ads about the dangers of smoking. The manufacturers hoped the court would overturn U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler’s order on the grounds it had been superseded by the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gave the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate the content, marketing and sale of tobacco products.
In 2006, Judge Kessler ruled that Big Tobacco firms engaged in racketeering, and were likely to do so again in the future. She ordered tobacco companies to stop using terms like “light” and “low tar” to market cigarettes. She said she wanted the tobacco industry to pay for print and broadcast ads, but did not say what corrective statements must be included in them.