Per Congress, FTC Rescinds Regulations on Smokeless Tobacco, Authority to Move to HHS

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In the wake of legislation passed by Congress last year, the Federal Trade Commission will rescind its regulations governing the format and display of health warnings on smokeless tobacco packages and advertising. The FTC was given the authority to issue these regulations under the Comprehensive Smokeless Tobacco Health Education Act of 1986, which also directed the FTC to review and approve plans specifying how smokeless tobacco companies planned to comply with the Act’s requirement to display health warnings on a rotating basis.

In a notice that will be published shortly in the Federal Register, the FTC notes that the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act revised the mandatory health warnings, issued new size, format, and display requirements for those warnings, and transferred authority for review and approval of rotational warning plans from the FTC to the Department of Health and Human Services. Due to the transfer of authority, the Commission’s regulations no longer serve any purpose and are being rescinded.

The Commission vote authorizing the Federal Register notice was 5-0. The rescission of the FTC’s regulations, which were found in 16 C.F.R. Part 307, will take effect immediately when the Federal Register notice is published.

The FTC works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

(FYI smokeless)

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