President Obama recently signed a bill that seeks to regulate the tobacco industry and introduces new measures to control the amount of nicotine addiction throughout the country.
As a result of the bill, the FDA will have two years to create color coded labels for every cigarette sold in the US as well reduce the amount of nicotine that can be contained in cigarettes.
The new legislation also places a ban on all flavored cigarettes in an attempt to reduce the amount of teens that are attracted to smoking and places very strict regulations on where companies that manufacture tobacco are allowed to advertise.
Reforms such as this have long been in the works and date back to Robert Kennedy’s efforts to ban tobacco advertising from the airwaves.
Despite the new regulations, the bill has been met with some resistance and criticism from those who say it does not go far enough as flavors such as menthol remain unbanned and that the role of the FDA in regulating cigarette addiction is not carefully defined.
Questions over whether the Supreme Court will uphold certain measures such as the ban of advertising that is within 1,000 feet of schools also places the bill in the spotlight as anti-tobacco groups are waiting for First Amendment groups to take it to court.
The most noticeable changes will be on the labels, as the legislation calls for warning labels to make up to 50% of the packaging with the inclusion of direct phrases such as ‘smoking can kill you” and “cigarettes cause cancer” designed to make a point to smokers.