Monday, June 22, 2009 - President Obama will sign the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in the Rose Garden. .


June 21, 2009 - Within 90 days of enactment of the legislation, the secretary is required to establish within the FDA a Center for Tobacco Products. The secretary is also required to establish an office to assist small tobacco product manufacturers in complying with the requirements of the legislation.

User fees would be established for each manufacturer and importer of tobacco products and collected quarterly. The fees begin in 2009 at $85 million and increase to $712 million by 2019 and each subsequent year. The program is flat-funded at that point, so some may question whether the agency will fall behind on funding. The legislation provides that these are the only fees to be used in relation to the purposes in the legislation, except that start-up costs during the first six months will be reimbursed. Tobacco prices would go up, as tobacco companies pass along the government's "user fees" to consumers.

For more information see the bill The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act and look for "Major Bill Provisions."


In brief: warning labels would be larger, covering half the package, and more graphic. Eventually they could include pictures; cigarettes could no longer be labeled "light" or "low-tar." So although Marlboro Lights and Camel Lights could still be sold, they'd have different names or new packaging; once the FDA begins regulating content, the chemical makeup of cigarettes could change too, affecting both their taste and, some hope, their health impacts.

Cigarettes could no longer have a "characterizing" flavor other than menthol, though companies could still inject flavors as part of their blends. Reynolds American, for example, includes such ingredients as brown sugar, cinnamon, patchouli oil, and rosemary in its products. Beginning three months after enactment of the legislation, flavorings (other than tobacco or menthol) will be banned in cigarettes only.

Nationwide, tobacco manufacturing employs about 21,000 people with an average annual wage of $47,000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the legislation would reduce the
number of underage tobacco smokers by 11 percent by 2019, but would reduce the
number of smoking adults by only two percent over the same time period.

Reference: PRESS BRIEFING BY PRESS SECRETARY ROBERT GIBBS, 6/19/2009.




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