Friday, April 23, 2010

Cigarette Industry Confronts New FDA Rules

New FDA rules on the cigarette industry are creating some interesting new changes for both retailers and cigarette producers. As of June 22, when The Family Smoking Prevention And Control Act Of 2009 becomes law you will see some changes in cigarette POS(point of sale) advertising as well as new names for cigarettes once called "lights". For example, Camel "Lights" will be renamed Camel "Blue". And the specialty blend, Kamel "Lights", will be renamed Kamel Red Smith Taste. Certainly, these changes where the term "light" can no longer be used according to the new FDA rules will create some buyer confusion. But, the FDA feels that the term "light" has been deceptively used by the industry, where all cigarettes contain the same toxic ingredients.

Lawyers for the cigarette industry did manage to get a small court victory, though. Industry lawyers sued the government over a provision of the act that outlawed POS advertising in color or with visual images. Back on January 5, a federal court ruled that such provisions in the bill violated the 1st Amendment.

But, cigarette consumers and retailers will still see some other advertising changes such as larger warning signs than the past. And any advertising using descriptions such as "lights" will be gone forever. But, the cigarettes once called "lights" will still be around, just with new names. But, like all laws, the laws regarding the sale of those products just became more complicated.

Will these changes make any difference at all in smoking as the original bill intended? Probably not much at all. But, new laws like this keep the lawyers busy.