Posted by: audreybenenati | March 24, 2010

Tobacco faces new FDA marketing restrictions

By MOLLY PETERSON Copyright 2010 Bloomberg News

March 19, 2010, 10:32AM

Tobacco companies led by Altria Group Inc. and Reynolds American Inc. were banned from marketing to young people under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s first moves in a decade to regulate the $80 billion industry.

The FDA restrictions, issued today and scheduled to take effect June 22, bar tobacco sales to people younger than age 18. The agency also prohibited cigarette makers from distributing branded merchandise such as T-shirts and sponsoring sporting or entertainment events. The FDA invited comment on whether to restrict some forms of outdoor advertising for tobacco.

“Every day, nearly 4,000 kids under 18 try their first cigarette and 1,000 kids under 18 become daily smokers,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, whose department includes the FDA, said today in Washington. The rules will “help our kids stay healthy by making it harder for tobacco companies to target them with harmful and addictive products.”

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