Support for the FDA's Regulation of Tobacco

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium worked with public health advocates, scientific experts, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that it exercises the full authority granted to it under the 2009 Tobacco Control Act to meaningfully protect the public’s health.

Dates of Project: December 2009 through April 2013

Description: The 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, (Pub.L. 111–31) gave the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) new authority to restrict tobacco marketing to youth, require changes in tobacco products, regulate claims about tobacco safety, and require more effective warnings. However, the agency will not fully implement the law without vigorous, strategic, and sustained action by the public health community.

This project began to provide that support. Additional grants continue this work in 2013 and 2014.

“We have helped the FDA implement regulatory and policy decisions that reflect the positions of the public health community rather than the tobacco industry.”—Matt Myers, JD, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

“We worked with the state and local public health communities, and focused on educating those folks. We also focused on transparency issues with the regulatory process and making sure the FDA is sharing as much as they can.”—Maggie Mahoney, JD, Tobacco Control Legal Consortium

Key Results

  • The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium:

    • Promoted and coordinated efforts by the public health community to play a role in the FDA’s work to implement the law, including creation of the FDA Tobacco Action Center, one of the tools used to promote and coordinate participation by the community.
    • Filed formal comments concerning proposed regulations and guidance documents, attended public meetings of the FDA and its Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, and met with federal officials to encourage them to take action and to ensure transparency.
    • Prepared and filed citizen petitions with the FDA—including one on behalf of the Consortium, the Campaign, and 17 other leading public health organizations that asks the FDA to ban menthol cigarettes. The FDA’s decision is still pending.
    • Helped the FDA implement several regulations, including larger, updated warnings on smokeless product packaging.
    • Filed amicus briefs with the courts to support the FDA in its defense against lawsuits by the tobacco industry.


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Public health advocates serve as vital counterbalance to industry's influence on how FDA regulates tobacco.