Understanding the Tobacco Control Act: efforts by the US Food and Drug Administration to make tobacco-related morbidity and mortality part of the USA's past, not its future

Lancet. 2013 May 4;381(9877):1570-80. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60735-7.


The USA has a rich history of public health efforts to reduce morbidity and mortality from tobacco use. Comprehensive tobacco-prevention programmes, when robustly implemented, reduce the prevalence of youth and adult smoking, decrease cigarette consumption, accelerate declines in tobacco-related deaths, and diminish health-care costs from tobacco-related diseases. Effective public health interventions include raising the price of tobacco products, smoke-free policies, counter-marketing campaigns, advertising restrictions, augmenting access to treatment for tobacco use through insurance coverage and telephone help lines, and comprehensive approaches to prevent children and adolescents from accessing tobacco products. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has six major areas of regulatory authority: regulation of tobacco products; regulation of the advertising, marketing, and promotion of tobacco products; regulation of the distribution and sales of tobacco products; enforcement of the provisions of the Tobacco Control Act and tobacco regulations; regulatory science to support FDA authorities and activities; and public education about the harms of tobacco products and to support FDA regulatory actions. With passing of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act) in June, 2009, important new regulatory approaches were added to the tobacco prevention and control arsenal.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Government Regulation
  • Health Policy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • Public Health / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Tobacco Industry / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Tobacco Products / adverse effects
  • Tobacco Products / analysis
  • Tobacco Use Cessation*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • United States Food and Drug Administration / legislation & jurisprudence*