FDA enforcement action plan for tobacco promotion and advertising restrictions

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an action plan for enforcing restrictions on tobacco advertising and promotion in October 2010.

The “Enforcement Action Plan for Promotion and Advertising Restrictions” describes the FDA’s strategy to enforce regulations designed to reduce the appeal of tobacco products and restrict access to cigarettes and smokeless tobacco by people under the age of 18 includes:

  • Marketing surveillance
  • Retailer compliance inspections
  • Enforcement tools such as warning letters, fines, seizures, injunctions, and criminal prosecution
  • Education to encourage voluntary compliance
  • Ongoing monitoring of the plan’s progress and effectivenesss to determine if additional restrictions or tools are needed. 

To inform the plan’s development, the FDA held a web-based public meeting on June 30, 2010. Presentations, a video archive, and a transcript of the meeting are available at http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/NewsEvents/ucm215780.htm. The FDA also solicited information, research, and opinion from experts and the general public. Public health organizations and other groups representing populations most affected by the tobacco industry’s marketing—young people and minority communities—were consulted during its development of the strategy.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which became federal law on June 22, 2009, gave the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products in order to protect the health of the general public and to prevent or reduce tobacco use by minors. The Act was enacted in response to several findings, including:

  • Virtually all new users of tobacco products are under the minimum legal age to purchase such products.
  • Tobacco product marketing strategies are especially directed at young people
  • Rates of tobacco use and related mortality are higher among some racial and ethnic groups, including American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian men, and African-American men.
  • African Americans are exposed to more tobacco advertising than other groups. 
The FDA plans to monitor the progress and effectiveness of the enforcement action plan to ensure that the components of the plan achieve its goal and to determine if other restrictions or tools are needed to effectively limit access to cigarettes and smokeless tobacco by persons under the age of 18 and to reduce the appeal of such products to persons under the age of 18, including youth in minority communities.

Access the complete “Enforcement Action Plan for Promotion and Advertising Restrictions” for full details about the FDA’s multi-pronged approach.

A photo shows a black man and a white man peering out from under hardhats.
A quotation reads: “The challenge of eliminating disparities requires concerted efforts by scientists, health professionals, policy makers, and others to address inequities in health as well as to amend the scientific research agenda.” —“Eliminating Tobacco-Related Health Disparities: Directions for Future Research,” American Journal of Public Health

Send us feedbackMember login • © 2012 Tobacco Research Network on Disparities
Site developed by DF/HCC Health Communication CoreSitemapadmin login