New smoking law limits flavors and marketing
Issue date: 7/17/09 Section: News
The legislation states that by July 2010, tobacco manufacturers are no longer allowed to use "light," "low" and "mild" when referring to tobacco products and, by 2011, warning labels for tobacco products are required to take up 50 percent of the front and rear panels of the package. Also taking effect this October, candy and fruit flavored cigarettes will be banned.
"I think that it's interesting that they're just starting to do this now. I've been a smoker my whole life, and personally I don't think that this will have much effect on the smoking community besides increase the prices again," Adam Thomas, an engineer for SUNOCO and Drexel alum, said.
On a state level the taxes on cigarettes have steadily increased over the years. The new legislation will undoubtedly cause an increase in the price of cigarettes leaving many smokers in dismay.
Many people see this new legislation as a victory for the public health movement. Others, however, see it as the end for one of America's oldest industries.
"I like to think that this legislation is a major victory for public health. Smoking is a dangerous habit and companies should not be allowed to sell you a product that when used correctly, kills you," Charles Alexander, a junior majoring in communication, said.
"Smoking is a terrible habit, but it's also a personal choice," Josh Kevitt, a junior majoring in political science, said.
The FDA will also create the Center for Tobacco Products to monitor the regulation on tobacco products. This includes manufacturing, sales and marketing. According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the tobacco industry spends around 36 million dollars a day on advertising expenses. Thanks to the new laws, the FDA will now be imposing limits as to the extent of advertising.
"I don't understand where this legislation is coming from. There is nothing more American than smoking. Tobacco was first cultivated in America. It's just sad that the government has to step in and limit my personal freedom like this." Trevor Martin, a pre-junior business major, said.
Medscape.com reports that around 20 percent or roughly 45 million Americans are smokers. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that healthcare costs associated with second hand smoke alone average $10 billion worldwide.