Monday, August 16, 2010

On June 22, 2010 new restrictions on tobacco product sales and marketing under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act) finally went into effect. This act is specifically aimed at protecting children and youth from the dangers of using tobacco. These restrictions prohibit the sale of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to people under the age of eighteen; prohibit the sale of cigarette packs with less than twenty cigarettes; prohibit the distribution of free samples of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco; and prohibit tobacco companies from sponsoring many events such as music concerts, athletic games, and other cultural or social gatherings. These are certainly great strides for tobacco control, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and tobacco prevention advocates still have a ways to go in order to continue to prevent tobacco use among America’s youth.

One major task is educating both retailers and the public about these new restrictions. The FDA has wasted no time and is tackling this issue with their new website: Break the Chain of Tobacco Addiction. The website features various ways for retailers, organizations, and the general public to “spread the word” about the new regulations. The site has flyers and posters available for download with slogans such as “Don’t Let Minors Buy Tobacco. It’s the Law. Break the chain of tobacco addiction. Keep tobacco out of the hands of America’s youth. It’s the right thing to do” and “Break the Chain of Tobacco Addiction: I follow the law. I don’t sell tobacco to minors.”

The FDA is also using their website to help people “Stay Informed” – visitors to the website can sign up for e-mail updates, an RSS feed, or become a follower on Twitter. There are also various links to information and materials to help people “Learn More” and there are a variety of “Guidances” for the help the tobacco industry comply with these new regulations. The FDA is encouraging organizations to feature its widget that scrolls content from the FDA’s website and the “Break the Chain” badge on their own sites.

To help spread the word about these important new regulations, visit the “Break the Chain” website at

Katie Burggraf
Tobacco Control Team
Partnership for Prevention


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