On June 22, 2009, President Obama held a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden to sign the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gives the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) authority over tobacco products.
This historic legislation will bring about many changes in the way that tobacco products are produced and marketed. Under the new law:
- Tobacco companies must fully disclose the ingredients in cigarettes.
- Tobacco companies will no longer be able to use terms like “light” or “mild” to market cigarettes.
- Tobacco companies will no longer be able to produce fruit, candy or spice flavored cigarettes.
- Cigarette packaging will include large warnings on the front and back panels.
- Tobacco-product logos and brand names will be barred from sponsoring athletic and entertainment events.
Tobacco use is associated with increased risk for at least 15 types of cancer and is responsible for 30 percent of cancer deaths. In fact, lung cancer is now the most common type of cancer today, with 87 percent of all cases attributable to smoking.
ASCO President Douglas M. Blayney, MD, who attended the historic signing at the White House, issued a statement  where he said that the passage of this legislation “marks a new era in which the federal government now has sweeping regulatory authority over how tobacco products are manufactured and marketed in the U.S.”
ASCO commends the President, Congress and the public health community for their work to pass this legislation and looks forward to its swift implementation.
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