Monday, June 28, 2010

New Law Protecting Kids from Big Tobacco

Guest Post by John R. Seffrin, PhD
Chief Executive Officer, American Cancer Society and The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)

As a father, I know how hard parents try to protect our kids from danger. I hope all parents join me today in celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory authority over the tobacco industry. With 1,000 children becoming addicted every day and another 3,900 children picking up their first cigarette, this legislation is necessary to safeguard our kids from Big Tobacco’s predatory and deceptive marketing.

The law has already banned the manufacturing and distribution of candy- and fruit-flavored cigarettes that were intended to entice kids to start smoking. Beginning this month, the sale of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to minors will be prohibited by federal law and tobacco vending machines will be banned except in adult-only facilities. Additionally, we will see:

• larger, stronger warning labels on smokeless tobacco products
• a ban on the use of misleading descriptions such as “light” “mild” or “low-tar” in marketing and packaging cigarettes
• a ban on all tobacco-brand sponsorships of sports and cultural events
• a ban on virtually all free tobacco samples and giveaways of non-tobacco items, such as hats and T-shirts, with the purchase of tobacco
• a prohibition on the sale of cigarettes in packs of less than 20. This will eliminate so-called “kiddie packs” that make cigarettes more affordable and appealing to kids.

We expect that with effective implementation, the law will have a huge impact on ensuring that fewer kids start to smoke.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the American Cancer Society’s advocacy affiliate, and its volunteers were strong advocates for this legislation and are working to ensure that the law is implemented as strongly as possible. To find out more about this law and ACS CAN’s efforts, please visit and participate in our Twitter party… (details below).

Smoking-related diseases remain the most preventable cause of death in the world. This law will help to deter our kids from smoking. Thank you for being a part of the fight to protect our kids from Big Tobacco.


On June 29, the ACS CAN Twitter account will be hosting a Twitter chat where the organization will answer any questions on this legislation or impact of these tough new tobacco rules. The live Twitter chat will take place on June 29 from 2-3pm EST at @ACSCAN. Do you have a question about the new tobacco regulations? This Twitter chat will be the perfect place to get them answered.


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