Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
File photo dated 06/19/07 of a man
smoking a cigarette.

Obama Approves Anti-Smoking Law to Keep Youngsters From Smoking

June 23, 2009 07:00 PM
by Anita Gutierrez-Folch
Citing his own struggles to quit smoking, President Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act into law, aiming to prevent other teens from picking up the habit.

Nation’s Toughest Anti-Smoking Bill Becomes Law

On Monday, President Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the nation’s strictest anti-smoking law to date. The anti-smoking bill issued by the Senate earlier this month aims to prevent teenagers from acquiring the habit. As The Associated Press explains, the bill granted the FDA “unprecedented authority to regulate what goes into tobacco products, to make public the ingredients and to prohibit marketing campaigns geared toward children.”

Although the president mentioned his own struggles to quit smoking—a habit he started as a teenager—he didn’t make specific statements as to how his personal battle against cigarettes is holding up.

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Background: What is the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act?

The newly approved bill allows the FDA to regulate the amount of nicotine included in cigarettes, monitor tobacco-related advertisements and ban candied tobacco products directed toward youngsters.

A summary of the bill provided by states that tobacco manufacturers will be forced to “disclose all ingredients in its products,” and “release all marketing research documents to the FDA.” Tobacco manufacturers must also notify the FDA if any of these is changed or modified. Tobacco companies are also banned from promoting products marketed as “lower-risk alternatives to traditional tobacco” without health certification from the FDA.

Reactions: How will the anti-smoking bill affect consumers?

Forty-five years ago, the U.S. surgeon general issued a warning about tobacco causing lung cancer. Since then, the $89 billion tobacco industry has fiercely opposed passing bills and regulations attempting to monitor their proceedings. This time around, however, the new legislation was met with the support of Philip Morris, the largest tobacco manufacturer in the country.

As The Washington Post explains, the 20 percent of Americans who smoke will be bombarded with increasingly graphic warnings about the health risks involved in smoking. According to, the packaging of tobacco products will now include “larger, more varied, and more prominent warning labels.”

Supporters of the bill state that the new stipulations could reduce the nearly 400,000 deaths caused by smoking every year and lower tobacco-related health care costs, which amount to as much as $100 billion a year, the AP reported.

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