Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act


15 U.S.C. §§ 1331-1340; 21 U.S.C. § 387c

This Act requires manufacturers, packagers, and importers to place one of four statutorily-prescribed health warning statements on cigarette packages and in advertisements, on a rotational basis as reviewed and approved by the Commission. Section 201(a) of the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act amends the Cigarette Act to require instead one of nine statutorily-prescribed graphic health warnings, and transfers responsibilities for review and approval of the warning labels from the Commission to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. However, the effective date for Section 201(a) amendments is fifteen months after the Department issues required implementing regulations. Regulations issued by the Department were invalidated in relevant part by a D.C. Circuit Court decision, and the Department has not yet re-issued implementing regulations. This Act also prohibits any advertising of cigarettes and little cigars on radio, television, or other media regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. While the Act does not expressly provide for FTC enforcement, the FTC may bring enforcement actions under Section 5 of the FTC Act against unfair or deceptive acts or practices that would also constitute violations of the Cigarette Act, except that sections 12 through 15 of the FTC Act do not apply to the language of warning labels appearing in advertisements.