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Food and Drug Administration Issues Final Rule Regarding Sale, Distribution, and Use of Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco
Date:3/18/2010

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On this historic day, much credit should also be given to many of our nation's attorneys-general. As the negotiators of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) and its chief enforcers, AGs across the country worked to ensure that many of the provisions of the 1996 rule were incorporated into the final negotiated MSA. Indeed, AGs continue to push forth similar efforts at the state level regarding sales and advertising of tobacco-related products. Just last week in Vermont, in a case of national importance, Vermont Superior Court Judge Dennis Pearson found that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company's advertising claims of a 'reduced risk' cigarette were deceptive and misleading, and in violation of Vermont's Consumer Fraud Act and the 1998 MSA.

Today's action by FDA restricts the sale, distribution and use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, including provisions that:

  • Prohibits the sale of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco to people younger than 18.
  • Prohibits the sale of cigarette packages with fewer than 20 cigarettes.
  • Prohibits the sale of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in vending machines, self-service displays, or other imperson
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