Sara Bellum
August 31 2010
Image Courtesy of Ferminius

As the 1-year anniversary of the signing of the Tobacco Control Act approaches, new rules that let the Government regulate tobacco products are going into effect.

Starting on June 22, cigarette packs may no longer use labels that say "light," "low" and "mild." This is because research shows that “light” cigarettes are no safer than regular ones.

Also, tobacco companies will no longer be allowed to sponsor cultural and sporting events, distribute logo clothing, give away free samples or sell cigarettes in packages of less than 20—what’s known as "kiddy packs."

Another new law will prohibit the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 18, and vending machine sales of tobacco products will be banned except in adults-only places. We did an earlier blog about the ban on candy and fruit-flavored tobacco products, but these new laws will go even further.

This is great news for the public health and for teens, since tobacco products still account for 20 percent of all deaths in the United States each year, and tobacco companies keep trying to recruit new smokers. Every day 1,000 children become addicted to tobacco, and almost 4,000 try their first cigarette, according to John R. Seffrin, CEO of the American Cancer Society, who says the tobacco industry spends $34 million every day to try and hook new young smokers.

So, show the tobacco companies you can think for yourself. Smoking is very addictive, so the best advice is (yeah, you’ve heard it before): Don’t start!

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