WASHINGTON, D.C. April 24, 2014 Following is a statement from John R. Seffrin, chief executive of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), on the deeming regulation issued today by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA):
Five years after it began regulating cigarettes and certain other tobacco products, the FDA has taken the long-awaited first step to regulate other increasingly popular tobacco products such as cigars, smokeless tobacco products and electronic cigarettes.
We are pleased the FDA has taken this critical step that will subject these products to standards for the protection of public health, including prohibiting sales to those under 18 and requiring manufacturers to disclose ingredients.æHowever, without swift action from the administration to finalize the rule and take the necessary regulatory steps, many manufacturers of these products can continue to engage in practices, such as advertising and use of flavors, which make them attractive and accessible to youth.
Unfortunately, in these ensuing five years following passage of the Tobacco Control Act with no regulatory action by the administration, the tobacco industry has taken full advantage of the delay to exploit the lack of regulations. These tactics have included marketing small flavored cigars that look like cigarettes, entering the e-cig market with promotions that could dramatically increase use among children and creating several new types of smokeless products.
It should not take several more years for the FDA to be able to specify how it intends to regulate the unfettered marketing of many dangerous tobacco products.æThe health of the nation could suffer the consequences that follow this initial and long overdue step under a law intended to protect public health.
In the 50 years since Surgeon General Luther Terry released the historic report that linked smoking to disease and death, the nation has made significant progress in reducing cigarette smoking rates, educating Americans about the harms of tobacco use and shifting social norms to de-glamorize smoking. Yet, there are more than 42 million tobacco users in the U.S. and tobacco use remains the largest cause of preventable death in this country. A final regulation without administrative delays is crucial if we 're going to save lives, keep kids from starting lifelong, deadly addictions and end the scourge of the tobacco industry on the American people in our lifetime.
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visitæwww.acscan.org.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Lauren Walens or Steven Weiss
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Phone: (202) 661-5763 or (202) 661-5711
Email: Lauren.Walens@cancer.org or Steve.Weiss@cancer.org
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