Looking to a Healthier Future on Our Third Anniversary
We've been busy the past three years! After it was signed in 2009, the bipartisan Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act gave FDA a powerful tool to make tobacco-related death and disease a part of America’s past, not its future. Since FDA's Center for Tobacco Products started in 2009, we've made progress toward this goal by moving science-based, tobacco-related regulation forward, such as:
- Enforcing the ban on cigarettes with characterizing flavors like candy and fruit;
- Restricting youth access to cigarettes and smokeless tobacco; and
- Enforcing the prohibition on misleading product claims, such as “light,” “low,” and “mild.”
Continuing to Protect Public Health
But we can’t stop there. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., responsible for more than 443,000 deaths each year. We refuse to maintain the status quo. Moving forward, our efforts will focus on:
- Preventing Americans, especially youth, from starting to use tobacco products;
- Encouraging current users to quit; and
- Decreasing the harms of tobacco product use.
FDA is working with its partners, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to help identify the most effective means of answering regulatory science questions related to tobacco products. FDA has started a rigorous tobacco research program to enhance the knowledge already available to make evidence-based regulatory decisions.
Tobacco Science and Research at FDA
FDA regulatory decisions are based on the best available science. Although there is already adequate science available to make some decisions, additional research in certain areas will strengthen FDA’s ability to make the most impact on preventing tobacco-related death and disease.
Our research priorities include:
- Expanding understanding of the diversity of tobacco products;
- Reducing addiction to tobacco products;
- Reducing toxicity and carcinogenicity of tobacco products and smoke;
- Furthering understanding of the adverse health consequences of tobacco use;
- Broadening understanding of communications about tobacco products; and
- Increasing knowledge about tobacco product marketing.