14 Jul 2022


The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act

Format: APA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 2226

Pages: 8

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Policies are designed to important because they regulate fundamental factors that affect the health and wealth of citizens. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 is a federal law, set for the purpose of reducing tobacco smoking and general use among young adults. Those companies within the industry are aware that they are the largest consumers. In response to this, they target them in enticing advertisements that contain false information, flavored products that mask the smell of nicotine and desirable packaging that substituted information with false advertising. Researchers indicated that their strategy increased the number of tobacco users as well as the number of casualties between the ages of 13-30 that suffered from effects of direct and passive smoking ( Luke, Ribisl, Smith & Sorg, 2011). This essay is an introduction to the 2009 act and its interpretation. It is an insight into why the resistance was so severe once the bill was tabled, and the impact it had on public service administration and policy management. In this work, a deeper understanding of how the tobacco industry felt singled out and how the FDA gained the upper hand into tobacco control is explored. The positive impact in public administration matters such as the creation of awareness on the effects of smoking, the recognition of an industry problem that was previously ignored, how clear guideline in the new law motivated effective policy enforcement and how support for the policy enforcers was crucial are all included. The findings cited apply to students who wish to understand why such a law improves the nation’s wellbeing and the importance of having elaborate rules. It is indeed a systematic approach into how the government arms come together to make an impact on the management of public policy in public safety administration. 


The last decade is characterized by some legislations that affect public policy also known as the means by which the government maintains order or governs its citizens. These legislations are crucial due to the dynamic nature of the American society and the problems that face the community. Government leaders who amend or enact these laws face significant challenges because they have to consider the impact of their actions on many shareholders. The best interest of the nation’s citizens is a priority, but the laws often compromise to accommodate the needs of others such as manufacturers, distributors, and businesses involved. They must also prepare for the reception of the general public since every decision has positive and negative impacts. In this essay, Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 is analyzed about its impact on management policy decisions for public safety decisions. 

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Summary of the Law 

This law gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) control over the tobacco industry. Its primary goal is to discourage tobacco use among young adults and children by imposing warnings on the packaging, the advertisements and requires the industry to seek approval for new products. Specifically, it creates the Centre for Tobacco Products within the FDA to regulate the marketing, content, and sale of tobacco products. The law extends to companies within the nation and importers to reveal their products to the FDA on existing and new products. For this purpose, a Premarket Trade Application (PMTA) is designed for any tobacco product before it is marketed in the United States of America ( Prevention, 2009) . This information helps to avoid loopholes that have in the past allowed industries in this sector to navigate around legal and health requirements that have proved harmful to the society. The FDA is also authorized to change the tobacco product content should they see fit. 

The ban on flavoring applies to products that meet the definition of “Cigarette” in the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act. It is inclusive of any non-tobacco or tobacco substance that come wrapped in a paper and any other tobacco with the intention of being rolled. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act goes on to enforce new rules to govern sales except in the case of face to face and direct sales between a consumer and retailer. The word ‘warning’ should cover 50% of the front and rear of the packaging ( Luke, et al., 2011) . Manufacturers also require the approval of the terms “light,” “mild” and “low” that imply a product causes some degree of health risks. While the law is clear to goods imported for sales and marketing, it is not for personal use. Therefore, individuals can make their purchases of external products that are not under the control of the FDA. 

Interpretation of the law 

It is important to understand what such a law means for the nation and it citizens. To understand this, its background must be addressed. In the FDA V Brown &Williamson Corp, the Supreme Court in a 4 out of 5 decision ruled that the FDA had no authority over the tobacco products. To address this loophole, the legislation was introduced the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in the United States House of Representative with 178 cosponsors. Though there are senators who proposed an alternative bill, it proceeded to consideration in the House of Bill. The bill was passed a week later than expected in a bipartisan law of 307-97. Most of the opposition came from senators who represented tobacco farming states such as North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Georgia ( Carvajal, Clissold & Shapiro, 2009) . 

Reasons for Resistance 

Many shareholders were not happy with this change and opposed it for some reasons. For many companies, their competitive advantage was limited by the new law. Modified tobacco products are more marketable compared to the original product based on their ability to set themselves apart from apart using innovative flavors. This strategy was primarily used by upcoming distributors who were not well known. Moreover, unique characteristics such as modified taste greatly appealed to young adults who are among the largest consumers of tobacco especially in the form of cigarettes. New flavors allowed them to avoid the smell and taste of nicotine that many avoided. This bill limited their ability to reach out to this market and reduced the customer base significantly. Legislators argued that young adults succumb to lifestyle diseases as a result of such products because they did not know any better and this law served to protect them. 

Tobacco companies felt stereotyped when the bill was passed. There are a variety of products in the American market that have harmful products including MSG and damaging preservatives, yet the United Government did not persist on regulating their every move. Young adults are allowed to choose these items without inhibition because the government trusts they have attained an age where they are responsible. Singling out tobacco is unfair because the market should be allowed to choose for themselves as is with other legal drugs. However, some the arguments presented in support of the bill cited increased deaths by 56% as a result of tobacco use in the younger generation. Lung cancer, bronchitis and a higher risk of pneumonia were also cited as a result of regular use of these products. The companies in this business are not concerned with the wellbeing of their consumers, and therefore the government had to step in before the situation grew out of hand. 

Tobacco manufacturers feel that the government overstepped and interfered with their first amendment rights. To be specific, their freedom of speech was curtailed when the FDA was given control over what wording goes on the packaging. The law dictates that black and white texts should not be used on the packaging, 50% of the front and rear should be the word ‘warning,’ and certain words cannot be used unless permission from the FDA is granted. The argument was used by Commonwealth Brands in their lawsuit against the United States. The more legal action was taken in August of 2011 after the FDA released a variety of warning signs that they expected on the packaging. Some of the warnings included WARNING: Cigarettes cause strokes and heart disease, WARNING: Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health, and WARNING: Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers. These would apparently defame the product (Prevention, 2009) . 

For many companies, it was being forced to engage in anti-advocacy of a legal product. The released packaging option was extremely graphic and included images of a man using a tracheotomy hole to exhale smoke, cancerous lesions in a diseased mouth and smoke enveloping an infant who was receiving a kiss from his mother. Following the lawsuits that sited the government’s motive, the courts enforced a temporary injunction since it was clear that the images were aimed towards an emotional response to discourage smoking and discourage starting the behavior in the first place. Regardless, the tobacco community lost the case with the courts choosing to uphold the law and putting a stop to all cases against it. Needless to say, this did not help the reaction of those who felt targeted by the law. The government stood united on the issue and implemented every part of the legislation to the letter. 

Impact on Management Policy Decisions for Public Safety Administration 

This law has had an impact on management systems by accepting that the product in question has a severely negative impact on the upcoming generation. Previous legislations had avoided the issue for fear of offending the corporates that paid significant amounts in taxes to the government. They were practically untouchable because most of these companies are even involved in sponsoring campaigns. These limited the actions that public safety administrators could take because this industry was protected. By enforcing the law, it allowed FDA officials and other authorities such as the World Health Organization to come up with strategies that were effective in confronting some of the adverse impacts of tobacco use such as addiction and cancer. It allowed these administrators to hold the manufacturers responsible for their negligence and deliberate efforts to encourage smoking among young adults. 

Public safety leaders were accorded more power by the law. They were granted the authority to dictate the message that consumers received on tobacco products. Through the FDA, policies to reduce sales and the circulation of smoke were easily enforceable. Previously, administrators were fighting a losing battle because they did not have the legal authority to dictate the actions of the tobacco industry. Researchers equate this situation to just watching impending disaster because their efforts were falling on large corporations that were unstoppable. However, the law allows an individual or non-governmental organization to defend their interests against such firms. For the governing parties, this is seen as a delegation strategy where more people come together to hold those who benefit from the industry accountable. This is important for future generations and the economy such that they can direct resources to other societal needs other that medical aid for those suffering as a result of an item that can be regulated. 

Management of policies is now based on clear guidelines. Previously, the laws on tobacco retailers, suppliers and manufacturer were ambiguous and mainly focused on taxation as a means to regulate the distribution of tobacco items around the nation. Due to the ambiguous nature of the laws, the courts found it hard to give rulings that demanded these corporations consider the status of their consumers. The current rules are elaborate and leave minimal wiggle room. Even though many complain that they are too strict, it is notable that they are only designed to meet the consequences of ungoverned distribution which are severe and detrimental to the nation. Administrators cannot operate without corporation with arms of the government such as the judiciary and the private sector. This law demands every shareholder play their role and take responsibility for what they are selling. No one can turn a blind eye to the reality of these products. 

Creation of awareness is crucial for effective management of policies. In many ways, this law assisted in this task. First, a heated discussion arose, once the bill was tabled. Being the democracy that America is, the media recorded the arguments presented for and against the argument from many professionals in the medical, business and psychological fields. It started the conversation on issues that were repeatedly swept under the rug in past years. This spread of information continued once the specifications of the bill were made public. Many people were not aware of their right to information and how some of the products were harmful. However, after the act was published, they were more aware. Eventually, the messages on the packaging held the highest impact. They reminded people of why the laws were so strict and the importance of being aware of what they were consumed. 

Policy administrators gained support from a financial and systematic perspective. Previously they fought on an uneven ground. The large tobacco companies were backed by financial assistance and politically protected while the policy enforcers were faced by opposition from every corner. This opposition particularly stemmed from within the government where most leaders did not want to upset the largest tax-payers. However, once the government united under these laws, a change was evident in the cases that arose and the resources directed towards implementation of policies. The reality dawned concerning the damage that was caused by the issue of tobacco use was ignored. It is ideal to have a united stand on such issues because it makes the struggle towards a healthy society easier and practical. For many, this day seemed distant, but this law made results attainable. 


In conclusion, elected leaders should always spearhead change no matter how difficult it is. In most cases, making decisions that will boost the society toward better living is never easy but is faced with stiff opposition. However, if the law has the general public’s best interest at heart, the results are almost immediate and well appreciated. It is admirable that this law was well thought out and covered quite some issues that factored into tobacco trade. The FDA is tasked with an enormous responsibility of keeping this vast industry in check. No leniency should be permitted because this will open the door to shortcuts. For such cases, transparency is encouraged as an accountability strategy. There are more that remains in the regulation of tobacco use especially in regulating imports for personal use. Policy administrators should look into the loopholes and ensure that they cover all their bases since new trends that sabotage progress are shared. 


Carvajal, R., Clissold, D., & Shapiro, J. (2009). The family smoking prevention and tobacco control act: an overview. Food & Drug LJ ,. 

Luke, D. A., Ribisl, K. M., Smith, C., & Sorg, A. A. (2011). Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act: banning outdoor tobacco advertising near schools and playgrounds. American journal of preventive medicine

Prevention, F. S. (2009). Division a—family smoking prevention and tobacco control act. Public Law

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