The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act: A ‘Look Back’ to Understand the Future

Regulatory Focus, June 2011

3 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011

See all articles by Roseann B. Termini

Roseann B. Termini

Widener University Delaware Law School

Date Written: June 1, 2011


Nearly 50 years ago, the detrimental health consequences from the use of tobacco products became evident when the United States Surgeon General informed the nation that smoking causes lung cancer. Congress subsequently initiated tobacco product regulation in 1965 with passage of the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, requiring warning labels and a ban on television and radio advertising. Congress continued to establish a regulatory scheme for tobacco products until the United States Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) attempted to regulate tobacco products with the FDA Rule of 1996. The FDA Rule of 1996 was the legislation in question before the United States Supreme Court in FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation in 2000, where the court ruled FDA lacked the legal authority to regulate tobacco.

The impetus for enactment of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 (FSPTCA), which established FDA jurisdiction, was due in part to the Brown case and in part to the detrimental health impact from of tobacco product use. The FSPTCA grants FDA “authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of tobacco products to protect the public health generally and to reduce tobacco use by children and adolescents.” It is important to review prior legislative efforts to understand why the FSPTCA is deemed milestone legislation.

Keywords: smoking, health law, tobacco products, Food and Drug Administration, FDA

JEL Classification: K32, K23

Suggested Citation

Termini, Roseann B., The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act: A ‘Look Back’ to Understand the Future (June 1, 2011). Regulatory Focus, June 2011. Available at SSRN:

Roseann B. Termini (Contact Author)

Widener University Delaware Law School ( email )

4601 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803-0406
United States

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