IOM Tobacco Report Calls for FDA Regulation of Advertising
The Institute of Medicine issued a report yesterday calling on the federal government to take various actions to reduce tobacco use. Aside from its recommendations that state and local governments should ban smoking in nearly all indoor public settings and that Congress should raise the federal excise tax on tobacco products, the report also calls for numerous restrictions relating to advertising. The report claims that there is a causal link between advertising and tobacco use, and calls on Congress (and the states) to:
Grant the FDA authority over tobacco advertising and marketing, and require that advertising be limited to a black-and-white, text only format;
Repeal the federal preemption of state regulation of tobacco advertising and promotion to allow states to enact more restrictive regulations;
Require drastic new pictorial warnings, in color, that take up 50% of the surface space on packaging; and
Restrict point-of-purchase advertising and marketing displays to text-only informational displays.
The recommendations included in the report closely track legislation that has already been introduced by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA). While the legislation (S. 625/H.R. 1108) has yet to be scheduled for committee consideration, Senator Kennedy did hold a hearing on the issue of FDA regulation of tobacco in February, and this report may provide the motivation for the Congress to act.
Senator Kennedy issued a statement regarding the report.
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