Office of Disease Prevention logo

Menu
header image for trsp

What is the Tobacco Control Act?

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA), also known as the Tobacco Control Act, became law on June 22, 2009. It gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products to protect public health. For more information about the Tobacco Control Act, visit the FDA Center for Tobacco Products site:

Public Health Objectives of the Tobacco Control Act

To help make tobacco-related death and disease a part of America’s past, not its future, CTP is committed to educating the public—especially young people—about the harms of tobacco products, keeping tobacco products out of the hands of America’s youth, and dramatically reducing the appeal of these deadly products. Everything CTP does is designed to reduce the impact of tobacco on public health, including our top three goals to:

  • Prevent Americans—especially youth–from starting to use tobacco
  • Encourage current users to quit
  • Decrease the harms of tobacco product use

Timeframe to Enact Law

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act) is an important piece of legislation with many requirements. FDA has prepared a scrolling timeline to help you identify some of the key milestones.

  1. President Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act into law.

     

  2. Established collection of user fees from industry.

  3. The Center for Tobacco Products was established.

  4. Tobacco Control Act ban on flavored cigarettes (other than menthol) took effect.

  5. Published final guidance to assist persons making tobacco product ingredient submissions to FDA.

  6. Established 12-member Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee.

  7. Published final rule restricting the sale and distribution of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to protect children and adolescents (reissued 1996 rule).

  8. Published final guidance to assist persons submitting to FDA all documents developed after 6/22/09 that relate to health, toxicological, behavioral or psychological effects of tobacco products and their constituents, including smoke constituents, ingredients, components, and additives.

  9. Tobacco Control Act requirements regarding warning labels, advertisements, and rotation of warnings for smokeless tobacco products took effect.

  10. Tobacco Control Act ban on tobacco products labeled or advertised with misleading terms “light” “mild” “low” or similar descriptors took effect.

  11. Published Enforcement Action Plan for promotion and advertising restrictions, which covers the sale of menthol and other cigarettes to youth (especially in minority communities).

  12. Published proposed regulation that would require color graphics depicting the negative health consequences of smoking to accompany the 9 new warning statements in the Tobacco Control Act on cigarette packages and in cigarette advertisements.

  13. TReport from the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee on the public health effects of menthol in cigarettes to FDA.

  14. Publish final regulation requiring color graphics depicting the negative health consequences of smoking to accompany the 9 new warning statements in the Tobacco Control Act on cigarette packages and in cigarette advertisements.

  15. Publish regulations establishing procedures for requesting an exemption from the requirement to establish substantial equivalence.

  16. Publish regulation regarding the sale and distribution of tobacco products to youth via the Internet, mail order, or other non-face-to-face exchanges.

  17. Report from the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee on dissolvable tobacco products.

  18. Publish regulations to address the promotion and marketing of tobacco sold or distributed over the Internet, by mail order, or through other non-face-to-face exchanges between a retailer and a consumer.

  19. Establish a list of harmful and potentially harmful constituents in tobacco products, including smoke constituents, by brand and subbrand. Publish a public notice requesting scientific and other information on the harmful constituents in tobacco products and smoke.

  20. Publish regulations and/or guidance on the scientific evidence required to assess and review modified risk tobacco products.

  21. Publish regulations or guidance permitting the filing of a single application for a new tobacco product (under 910) the applicant seeks to market as a modified risk product.

  22. Publish the list of harmful and potentially harmful constituents in a format that is understandable and not misleading to the lay public.

  23. Submit a report to Congress on regulating, promoting, and encouraging the development of innovative products and treatments to reduce or eliminate tobacco dependence and harm.

  24. Submit to Congress an implementation report on: Progress and impediments to implementing the Act, Number of new products and modified risk product applications received and Number of employees engaged in implementing the Act.

  25. Publish a regulation that requires testing and reporting of tobacco productconstituents, ingredients, and additives, including smoke constituents, by brand and subbrand that FDA determines should be tested.

  26. Submit a report to Congress on the health implications of raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, based on a study conducted by an expert panel.

  27. Submit a report to Congress on research into consumer understanding of harmful ingredients and recommend whether annual publication of the harmful and potential harmful constituent list should be continued or modified.

HTML version of scrolling timeline

Disclaimer
This timeline is not a complete summary of the law. It is very important to note that in order to understand the full context of each section described below, you must read the actual section of the Tobacco Control Act (PDF - 329 KB). To help you do that, for each section described, we provide the section number of the Act.

Please note: For an action that has already happened, we show the actual date it was completed. For an action that will happen in the future, we show the upcoming date. Some of the dates shown below are different from the dates contained in the Tobacco Control Act. This is because the dates in these sections were changed in accordance with section 6 of the Tobacco Control Act.

FDA Center for Tobacco Products

The Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) oversees the implementation of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Some of the CTP’s responsibilities under the law include setting performance standards, reviewing premarket applications for new and modified risk tobacco products, requiring new warning labels, and establishing and enforcing advertising and promotion restrictions.

For more information about the CTP, visit the CTP's website or view the fact sheet (PDF - 132 KB).