Marketing Restrictions

 
Tobacco products are among the most heavily regulated consumer goods in the world. These adult consumer products are subject to extensive federal, state and local licensing, registration and minimum age requirements.
These requirements became even more extensive in 2009, when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began regulating cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, “roll your own tobacco” and smokeless tobacco products. On May 10, 2016, the FDA published a Final Rule to extend the Agency’s authority to regulate other tobacco products, including cigars, e-vapor products, and other products containing tobacco-derived nicotine. The FDA has the authority to regulate virtually all aspects of the sale, distribution and marketing of these tobacco products.​
In 2009, Congress empowered the FDA to regulate all tobacco products. Altria's tobacco companies supported this landmark legislation. Today, Altria and its tobacco companies communicate with the agency as it exercises this authority. They also supported the FDA's Final Rule to extend its authority to regulate other tobacco products, including cigars, e-vapor products, and other products containing tobacco-derived nicotine, in May 2016. 
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 cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in vending machines, self-service displays or other impersonal modes of sales, except in very limited situations;
  • prohibiting sampling of cigarettes;
  • restricting sampling of smokeless tobacco;
  • prohibiting cigarette and 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.
​​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. ​​​
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