New Tobacco Regulations Kick In Today

06.22.10 | FL News Team

Exactly a year after the government gave the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate the tobacco industry, new provisions go into effect today. Beginning today, cigarette labels such as "light," "low tar" and "mild" are banned. Bolder health warnings will now be required on smokeless tobacco products and advertising. Also, the FDA will begin cracking down on tobacco ads directed at kids. Rules that will now be enforced to include a ban on all tobacco brand sponsorships of entertainment venues and sports teams, and banning free giveaways of merchandise with the purchase of tobacco products. Beginning today, cigarettes will be placed behind store counters and out of reach of children. Also, the sale of cigarettes in packs of less than 20 is prohibited, eliminating so-called "kiddie packs" that make the product more affordable.

 During the first year of the new law, candy and fruit-flavored cigarettes have been banned. Also, a Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee has begun a probe into the use of menthol cigarettes. Government studies show that the rates of smoking have decreased as new restrictions have increased. But smokeless tobacco has increased more than 33 percent among 10th and 12th graders in past years.