10th anniversary of Tobacco Control Act is cause for optimism for achieving tobacco ‘endgame’

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Stricter regulation, proven policies are needed to thwart tobacco industry’s ongoing efforts to addict more users.

This week marks the 10th >anniversary of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, a landmark law that granted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory oversight of the manufacture, marketing and sale of tobacco products.

The law took major steps to curtail tobacco industry practices intended to lure kids to smoke and deceive adults about the health hazards of tobacco use. For example, it prohibited candy-, fruit- and clove-flavored combustible cigarettes and ended misleading product references such as “low,” “light,” and “mild.”

“The Tobacco Control Act was made possible by grassroots advocates nationwide and congressional leaders who insisted that the tobacco industry’s virtually unfettered ability to manipulate its products and its customers had to end,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association. “But the progress made under the law is under threat by Big Tobacco’s ceaseless efforts to replace the prior generation of tobacco users with a new one. Public health advocates cannot let up in our efforts to end tobacco use and nicotine addiction in this country.”

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