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Required Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements: Small Entity Compliance Guide (Revised) Guidance for Industry May 2020

Docket Number:
Issued by:
Guidance Issuing Office
Center for Tobacco Products

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its disruptive impacts on both regulated industry and FDA, on May 8 the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted a joint motion in the case of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. et al. v. United States Food and Drug Administration et al., No. 6:20-cv-00176, to govern proceedings in that case and postpone the effective date of the “Required Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements” final rule by 120 days. FDA remains fully committed to the rule and would not agree to postpone its effective date but not for the extraordinary disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The new effective date of the final rule is Oct. 16, 2021. Pursuant to the court order, any obligation to comply with a deadline tied to the effective date is similarly postponed. FDA strongly encourages entities to submit cigarette plans (as required by 21 CFR 1141.10(g)) as soon as possible, and in any event by Dec. 16, 2020. FDA has updated the “Required Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements” small entity compliance guide and the “Submission of Plans for Cigarette Packages and Cigarette Advertisements” guidance to include the rule’s new effective date and updated timing for submission of cigarette plans. Regulated industry may contact CTP with questions about the effective date.  

FDA (Agency, we) is issuing this guidance to help small businesses understand and comply with FDA’s final rule, “Required Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements,” which establishes new required cigarette health warnings for cigarette packages and advertisements. The final rule implements a provision of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act) (Public Law 111-31) that requires FDA to issue regulations requiring color graphics depicting the negative health consequences of smoking to accompany new textual warning statements. The Tobacco Control Act amends the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (FCLAA) (15 U.S.C. 1333) to require each cigarette package and advertisement to bear one of the new required warnings. FDA has prepared this Small Entity Compliance Guide in accordance with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (Public Law 104-121).

FDA’s guidance documents, including this guidance, do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities. Instead, guidances describe FDA’s current thinking on a topic and should be viewed only as recommendations, unless specific regulatory or statutory requirements are cited. The use of the word should in FDA’s guidances means that something is suggested or recommended, but not required.

Submit Comments

You can submit online or written comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5))

If unable to submit comments online, please mail written comments to:

Dockets Management
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Rm 1061
Rockville, MD 20852

All written comments should be identified with this document's docket number: FDA-2020-D-0988.


Contact Point
Contact CTP
Document Control Center
Center for Tobacco Products
Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Ave WO71-G335
Silver Spring, MD 20993-002
(877) 287-1373 (9am EST-4pm EST)
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