Regulations Restricting the Sale and Distribution of Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco to Protect Children and Adolescents

OGC-96-38: Published: Sep 12, 1996. Publicly Released: Sep 12, 1996.


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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) new rule on restricting the sale and distribution of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to children and adolescents. GAO found that: (1) the rule would prohibit the sale of nicotine-containing cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to individuals under the age of 18, require manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to comply with various conditions regarding the sale and distribution of such products, require retailers to verify a purchaser's age by photographic identification, prohibit free samples of the product, limit the distribution of these products through vending machines and self-service displays, limit advertising and labeling directed to children and adolescents, prohibit promotional non-tobacco items, prohibit sporting and other events from tobacco product sponsorship, and require manufacturers to provide intended use information on all cigarette and smokeless tobacco product labels and in cigarette advertising; and (2) FDA followed applicable requirements in promulgating the rule.

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