World No Tobacco Day 2011: Statement by Lawrence R. Deyton, MSPH, M.D., Director, Center for Tobacco Products
On May 31, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will join public health and tobacco-control advocates around the world to observe World No Tobacco Day 2011. This year’s theme highlights the importance of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a treaty which focuses on curbing the global epidemic of tobacco use and on everyone’s right to the highest standard of public health.
This June marks the second anniversary of the signing of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act by President Barack Obama, which gave FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products in the United States. The Tobacco Control Act grants FDA authority over the manufacturing, distribution, marketing, and advertising of tobacco products to better protect the public health.
During the past two years, FDA has put in place the scientific foundation and regulatory framework for tobacco product regulation in the United States. Many of FDA’s efforts since the signing of the Tobacco Control Act have been in concert with the tobacco control goals listed in the WHO FCTC. FDA has:
- Removed flavored cigarettes from the market
- Enforced truth in advertising by prohibiting misleading marketing terms
- Banned the brand-name sponsorship of sporting events and concerts
- Placed new restrictions on marketing and promotion, such as setting a national minimum age of 18 for purchases and a minimum pack size of 20 cigarettes
- Required manufacturers to submit a list of the ingredients in their products
- Begun to establish a list of harmful and potentially harmful constituents in tobacco products
- Required warning labels for smokeless tobacco products
- Proposed new graphic warning labels for cigarette packages and advertisements
FDA joins the World Health Organization in celebrating World No Tobacco Day and encourages anyone who wants to quit using cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products to do so today. 1-800-QUIT-NOW is a free, federally-supported service that is available to help people stop using tobacco products.