American Association for Cancer Research

AACR CANCER POLICY MONITOR

CPM

                                                                                                    JUNE 2010

JUNE 22 MARKS FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF HISTORIC TOBACCO LAW                   

AACR joins nationwide efforts to combat tobacco epidemic

Over the last year, the U.S. has taken momentous strides to reduce the toll of disease and death caused by tobacco.

Backed overwhelmingly by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama on June 22, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act empowered U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the marketing, advertising and manufacturing of tobacco products.

Many of the agency’s first actions concentrated on restricting the marketing and illegal sales of tobacco products to youth, including the ban of the distribution, manufacture and importation of candy, fruit or spice-flavored cigarettes and the reissuance of a 1996 regulation aimed at reducing youth access to tobacco products and curbing their appeal to young people.

By this summer, FDA will begin requiring tobacco manufacturers to submit information about the ingredients and additives in their products, to stop using terms like "light," "low" and "mild," which lead smokers to falsely believe those products are less harmful than other cigarettes, and to strengthen warning labels for smokeless tobacco products. By October 2012, warning labels for cigarettes will be revised and will include graphic images.

Given that tobacco use has been definitively proven to cause cancer and accounts for 30 percent of cancer mortality in the U.S., the AACR has taken a keen interest in strategic priorities that the FDA will pursue under the new regulatory authority.

Last September, the AACR Task Force on Tobacco and Cancer prepared and submitted comments to the FDA on the implementation of the Tobacco Control Act and, more recently, issued a new policy statement enumerating policy and research initiatives critical to overcoming the global tobacco epidemic.

As the FDA moves into the second year of the implementation of the Tobacco Control Act and beyond, this task force will continue to provide its expertise and assistance to the FDA, in addition to working on other initiatives to help eliminate tobacco use and its detrimental effect on health.

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