Children and Tobacco: A Guide to the New Federal Regulations


NICOTINE ADDICTION: A CRISIS IN CHILDREN'S HEALTH

  • Each day, nearly 3,000 American youngsters become regular smokers. Of these, 1,000 will die early from tobacco-related diseases.
  • You can help protect kids from the dangers of tobacco and nicotine addiction.
  • President Clinton recently announced new FDA rules to make it much harder for kids to get cigarettes and smokeless ("spit") tobacco. The rules also will help make these products less appealing to youngsters.

BUT IT'S UP TO ALL OF US TO MAKE THESE RULES WORK.

On April 25, 1997, a Federal Court upheld FDA jurisdiction over cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. As a result of the ruling:

  • Age and photo ID restrictions remain in place.
  • Additional access restrictions scheduled to go into effect August 28, 1997, are delayed pending further judicial action.
  • Advertising provisions were overturned on statutory grounds. The government is appealing this portion of the ruling.

WHICH ONE IS 16?

Can you tell which one is 16? If they walked into a store, would the clerk know which one was under 18? To eliminate the guesswork, FDA requires retailers to card anyone who is under 27.

CHILDREN AND TOBACCO: DID YOU KNOW?

  • 82 percent of adults who ever smoked had their first cigarette by their 18th birthday. More than half became regular smokers by that time.
  • Smoking among 8th and 10th graders has risen 50 percent since 1991.
  • Of 1,000 20-year-olds who continue to smoke, 6 will die prematurely from homicide, 12 from car accidents, and 500 from smoking.
  • Studies show that minors succeed in buying cigarettes over-the-counter nearly 70 percent of the time and nearly 90 percent of the time from vending machines.
  • In 1994, the tobacco companies spent more than $4 billion on advertising and promoting their products.
  • Thirty percent of 3-year-olds and 91 percent of 6-year-olds can identify Joe Camel as a symbol of smoking.
  • Nearly 50 percent of kids who smoke, and 25 percent of those who don't, own at least one promotional item from a tobacco company.

TOGETHER, WE CAN PROTECT OUR CHILDREN'S FUTURES

  • Spread the word about the new rule throughout your community.
  • Let retailers know these rules are important to you.
  • Praise retailers who comply with the rules.
  • If you see a clerk selling cigarettes or smokeless tobacco to a person under 18 (after February 28, 1997) or a tobacco product vending machine accessible to kids (after August 28, 1997), report it to FDA at 1-888-FDA-4KIDS.
  • Visit FDA's website (www.fda.gov).

ENFORCING THE TOBACCO RULES

Retailers who sell to minors risk penalties of $250 or even more.

To make sure retailers follow the rules, State and local officials will work with FDA to monitor retailers across the country.

Also, customers witnessing the sale of tobacco products to a youngster, or another violation, can report it to FDA by calling toll-free:1-888-FDA-4KIDS

KNOW THE RULES

Starting February 28, 1997

Starting August 28, 1997

  • No vending machines or self-service displays except in places that never have anyone under 18 present. (Products sold only in a direct, face-to-face exchange.) F No sales of single cigarettes ("loosies") or packs with fewer than 20 cigarettes ("kiddie packs").
  • Coupons for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco redeemable only by adults in a store, not through the mail.
  • No free samples of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco.
  • No outdoor ads for cigarettes or smokeless tobacco (including on store windows) within 1,000 feet of a school or public playground.
  • Tobacco ads generally must be in black text on a white background without pictures or colors. Color or picture ads are permitted only:
  • In any publication with a youth readership of 15% or less and fewer than 2 million youth readers; or
  • In places that never have anyone under 18 present.
  • No give-away of any gift or item to anyone in exchange for a tobacco proof-of-purchase or as part of a sale of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco.
  • No sale or give-away of hats, t-shirts, or other items identified with a tobacco brand.

Starting August 28, 1998

  • No sponsorship of any sporting or other event, team, or entry identified with a tobacco brand. But, sponsorship in the corporate name is permitted.