FDA seeks public opinion on tobacco regulations..

July 3, 2009 - WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it is seeking public input on the implementation of its new authority overseeing tobacco products in the United States. The agency is inviting the public to provide information and share views on a variety of topics, from product content to advertising and marketing. All public comments will be posted online.

The FDA is establishing a public docket to obtain information on the implementation of the Family Smoking Prevention & Tobacco Control Act in order to provide an opportunity for all interested parties to provide information and share views on the implementation of the new law.

The deadline for submit written or electronic comments is Sept. 29, 2009.

To submit a comment electronically, click here. (Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management, HFA-305, FDA, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.)

Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, commissioner of food and drugs (FDA): "We're interested in receiving input from across the country as the FDA begins to implement this important new authority intended to reduce the enormous toll of suffering and death caused by tobacco products in the United States. We look forward to the public's response."

On June 22, 2009, the President Barack Obama signed H.R. 1256, the Family Smoking Prevention & Tobacco Control Act, into law. The act grants the FDA important new authority to regulate the manufacture, marketing and distribution of tobacco products to protect the public health generally and to reduce tobacco use by minors. The act authorizes the FDA to require disclosure of tobacco product ingredients and additives; regulate "modified risk" tobacco products; create standards for tobacco products, including standards for the reduction or elimination of certain constituents; restrict sales, distribution, advertising and promotion of tobacco products; and require stronger health warnings on packaging.

It also requires the FDA to issue its 1996 final regulation restricting the sale and distribution of nicotine-containing cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. The rule contains provisions designed to limit young people's access to tobacco products, as well as restrictions on marketing to curb the appeal of these products to minors.

Click here to view the the Family Smoking Prevention & Tobacco Control Act (H.R. 1256).

Reference: FDA Seeks Public Input on Tobacco Regulation Agency sets up forum for industry, citizens to offer comment, CSP Daily News, 7/2/2009.