New FDA Rules Take The Fun Out Of Cigarette Advertising

It’s been fifteen years and three presidents since it was first proposed, but the FDA has now signed off on a new set of rules for tobacco companies that seek to limit the marketing of cigarettes and chewing tobacco to teens and children. These new rules cover both advertising and distribution and will essentially put an end to tobacco-branded clothing, tobacco-sponsored sporting and music events, and the use of music in tobacco ads on the radio.

Here are the highlights of the rules that are scheduled to go into effect on June 22:

  • - No more tobacco-branded apparel like hats, jackets and tee shirts.
  • - Can no longer use tobacco brand names in the sponsorship of any athletic, musical, or other social or cultural event, or any team or entry in those events.
  • - No more gifts or other non-tobacco items in exchange for buying cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products.
  • - Audio ads for tobacco products will not be able to use music or sound effects, only words.
  • - No vending machines for cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco, except in places where minors are not permitted at any time.
  • - No free samples of cigarettes. Samples of chewing tobacco can be handed out, but only in the above-mentioned adults-only locations, and only .53 ounces per person per day.
  • - You can no longer redeem coupons for tobacco products through the mail.
  • - All labeling and advertisements for cigarettes or smokeless tobacco may not use color, only black text on a white background. There is an exception to this rule for publications deemed “adult publications,” meaning that only 15% or less of the publication’s readers are under 18 and that the total approximate number of under-18 readers is below 2 million.
    • Do you think these rules will have any effect on curbing smoking in teens? Are there some rules you think go too far?