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CTPConnect—November 2017

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This newsletter serves as a digest of the latest announcements and stories out of CTP. It is a complement to our Spotlight on Science newsletter and CTP News e-blasts. Learn More

In this issue… 

“The Real Cost” Now Informs Youth: Vaping, Too, Can Rewire Your Brain

As part of the agency’s continuing efforts to inform young people about, and help protect them from, the dangers of using tobacco products, FDA is expanding “The Real Cost” public education campaign to include advertising about e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). New messages focus specifically on how nicotine can rewire the developing brain to crave more nicotine. This is the first time FDA will explicitly address youth use of e-cigarettes through campaign advertising.

“The Real Cost” campaign, launched in February 2014, initially focused on reaching millions of 12-to-17-year-olds open to trying smoking or already experimenting with cigarettes. An FDA-supported study by an independent research firm has indicated that exposure to this award-winning campaign between 2014 and 2016 prevented an estimated 350,000 youth ages 11 to 18 from smoking.

In light of this success, and considering that more than 2 million U.S. teens currently use e-cigarettes, FDA is expanding “The Real Cost” to explicitly address youth vaping. “Expanding our highly successful public education efforts to include messaging about the dangers of youth use of these products is a critical part of our work to keep all tobacco products out of the hands of kids,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.

New campaign content such as video and radio ads began appearing Oct. 23 on YouTube, Hulu, and Spotify, as well as on the campaign’s website. FDA also plans to launch a full-scale campaign in 2018 focusing on youth use of e-cigarettes and other ENDS.

For more information about “The Real Cost,” see CTP’s webpage dedicated to this campaign.

“This is Our Watch": Free Resources Support Tobacco Retailer Compliance

Tobacco retailers play a direct and critical role in protecting the nation’s youth from the harms of tobacco use by preventing illegal tobacco sales to minors. To help tobacco retailers understand and comply with federal laws and regulations—such as only selling tobacco products to customers age 18 or older—FDA developed free educational resources for retailers as part of a new program called “This is Our Watch.”

This Is Our Watch logo

“This is Our Watch” materials are designed to educate owners, managers, and clerks, as well as consumers, about FDA’s tobacco regulations, and to encourage retailers to follow the law. The mix of educational pieces includes a poster, signage and stickers for the cash register, flyers summarizing relevant regulations, and a calendar to help with age verification.

The educational toolkit was developed based on feedback from store owners and employees, and with the recognition that convenience stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, and other types of tobacco retailers can be stretched for time and resources. While complementing CTP’s broader tobacco compliance and enforcement efforts to protect the public health, these materials also help retailers maintain good customer relations through visually appealing materials that inform customers about the law and retailers’ responsibilities.

“This is Our Watch” materials are being mailed to hundreds of thousands of retailers in November, and will also be made available digitally from CTP’s Exchange Lab.

FDA Issues Final Guidance: Prohibition of Distributing Free Samples of Tobacco Products

FDA has finalized a guidance intended to help tobacco product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers understand the prohibition on distributing free samples of tobacco products and explain how to comply with the law. “The guidance aims to help vape shops and other entities understand how they can comply with important rules to restrict youth access while still providing their adult customers access to the products they sell,” said FDA Commissioner Gottlieb.  

Read the Guidance

FDA Issues Final Guidance: Compliance Policy for Required Warning Statements on Small-Packaged Cigars

Beginning on Aug. 10, 2018, the product packaging for cigars manufactured, packaged, sold, imported, or distributed within the United States will be required to bear one of six specified warning statements. FDA has issued a guidance describing its compliance policy for cigars in packaging too small to accommodate a label with the required statement. The guidance explains that FDA does not intend to take enforcement action with respect to cigars in packaging too small to accommodate a label with the required statement if the required information appears on the carton or other outer container or wrapper or on a tag firmly and permanently affixed to the cigar package.

For more information, read the guidance. Or, watch CTP’s “Required Warning Statements for Cigars” webinar.

Did You Know…?

calendar imageToday, there are more former smokers than current smokers.

For smokers who want to say that they, too, are former smokers, Nov. 16 could be a good day to give up smoking, or to make a plan to quit. It’s the day of this year’s “Great American Smokeout,” an annual American Cancer Society event to encourage smokers to give up smoking for at least one day, as an important step toward better health.

Quitting smoking can be very difficult, especially because cigarettes’ design and ingredients make them addictive. It may take several tries, but quitting is achievable—and there’s help. Federal resources to help you quit are available on CTP’s website.

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