The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act includes a number of restrictions on cigarette and smokeless tobacco sales, marketing and advertising, including:
- imposing a national minimum age of 18 to purchase;
- prohibiting the sale of smokeless tobacco in vending machines, self-service displays or other impersonal modes of sales, except in very limited situations;
- restricting sampling of smokeless tobacco;
- prohibiting smokeless tobacco brand name sponsorships; and
- prohibiting the sale or distribution of items, such as hats and t-shirts, with cigarette and smokeless tobacco brands or logos.
The significant rise in youth use of e-vapor threatens to undermine the hard-fought gains made in preventing underage use of conventional tobacco products. We support the FDA's commitment to leverage its authority and resources to take additional steps to address these new, emerging issues associated with underage use, while continuing the progress that's been made on traditional products.
USSTC is committed to being part of the solution. In addition to our long-standing efforts, we supported legislation to raise the minimum age for all tobacco products to 21. We believe this is the most effective step available to reverse rising underage e-vapor rates and protecting the potential for reduced harm products for adults. In December 2019, federal legislation raised the legal age of purchase for all tobacco products to 21, making it the law of the land.
Tobacco Settlement Agreements
The FDA began regulating tobacco products against the backdrop of the 1998 Tobacco Settlement Agreements, which fundamentally changed how companies market cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products in the United States. These agreements banned or heavily restricted a wide range of marketing practices.
Smokeless Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
The U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company is the only smokeless tobacco manufacturer to sign the Smokeless Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (STMSA) with 45 state attorneys general. Under this agreement, the company adopted an array of marketing and advertising restrictions, and contributed to a national fund, the primary purpose of which is to fund programs to reduce youth usage of tobacco products. USSTC today remains the only smokeless tobacco company in the country participating in this agreement.