Tobacco Products

Overview of the Center for Tobacco Products: Consumer Fact Sheet

On June 22, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. This historic legislation granted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate tobacco products. The FDA then established the Center for Tobacco Products to regulate the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products to protect public health and to reduce tobacco use by youth.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act authorizes the FDA to

  • Require disclosure of tobacco product ingredients
  • Create standards for tobacco products
  • Restrict tobacco sales, distribution, and marketing
  • Require stronger health warnings on packaging and in advertisements

Making a Difference

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and results in more than 480,000 deaths each year. Despite this, more than 3,200 American youth smoke their first cigarette every day, and it's estimated that more than 700 become daily smokers.

For many young people, their first cigarette will lead to a lifetime of addiction and serious disease. Nearly 9 out of 10 daily adult smokers smoked their first cigarette before 18 years of age—the minimum legal age to purchase tobacco products—and before they were old enough to fully understand the risks.

To help make tobacco-related death and disease a part of America’s past, not its future, CTP is committed to educating the public—especially young people—about the harms of tobacco products, keeping tobacco products out of the hands of America’s youth, and dramatically reducing the appeal of these deadly products.

Everything we do is designed to reduce the impact of tobacco on public health, including our top three goals to:

  • Prevent Americans—especially youth—from starting to use tobacco
  • Encourage current users to quit
  • Decrease the harms of tobacco product use

Center Actions

To reduce the immense public health burden of tobacco products, CTP actions include:

  • Using the best available science to develop and issue regulations to protect the nation's health
  • Publishing guidance to help industry comply with regulations for tobacco products
  • Conducting retailer inspections across the United States and issuing warning letters and monetary penalties for violations
  • Requiring tobacco manufacturers to report the ingredients of their products
  • Reviewing proposed modified risk tobacco products before they can be sold
  • Restricting the access and attractiveness of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to kids
  • Enforcing the ban on the manufacture and sale of fruit or candy flavored cigarettes
  • Prohibiting the use of misleading claims such as "low," "light," and "mild" that falsely imply products are safer
  • Establishing new tobacco warning labels to communicate health risks
  • Producing public information and education campaigns about the dangers of regulated tobacco products

Partnering with other public health agencies to conduct cutting-edge research 

Contact Us


FDA Center for Tobacco Products
9200 Corporate Boulevard
Rockville, MD 20850-3229

Page Last Updated: 03/03/2015
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