For a long time, we have understood that harm reduction cannot succeed without effective, comprehensive federal regulation of tobacco products.

We strongly supported the Tobacco Control Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in 2009, giving the federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA) the power to regulate the industry. That statute set up the federal regulatory framework that places the FDA at the center of tobacco policy-making, including creating the tools the FDA needs to provide adult tobacco consumers access to products and information that can help them make informed choices.

Much of our legislative engagement today is focused on raising awareness within Congress and state legislatures about the FDA's full range of authorities over tobacco products, the actions the agency has taken since 2009, and the work the agency is doing today to address the complex issues it faces.

For example, in 2020, we engaged with Members of Congress about our concerns regarding some of the provisions in H.R. 2339, the Protecting American Lungs and Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2020. That bill included a complete ban on all flavored tobacco products even for adults 21 and older and would have banned products the FDA has determined are “appropriate for the protection of public health.”

A complete flavor ban on all tobacco products goes too far and produces these and many other unintended consequences, including creating an illicit market of unregulated, smuggled products. We have also worked with legislators to ensure new products are appropriately regulated by the FDA. Specifically, in 2020 we also spoke with Members of Congress about the need to expand the Tobacco Control Act to apply to products with synthetically-produced nicotine, because we believe these products should be regulated as tobacco products, regardless of the source of the nicotine used in them.

Learn how we also engage with public policy organizations on these issues and about our regulatory engagement.

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