New Rules to Shield Kids from Cigs

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The government is getting more strict with tobacco companies in yet another move to shield kids from advertising that could lure them into smoking.

Starting in June, tobacco brands will not be allowed to sponsor athletic, musical, social or cultural events and radio ads for cigarettes will not be allowed to use music or sound effects, assuming those appeal to young consumers.

And those even non-smokers who once collected Marlboro (Stock Quote: MO) miles will have no hope of getting more free T-shirts and duffel bags. The Food and Drug Administration plans to prohibit the distribution and sale of such memorabilia with tobacco brand logos.

The FDA will also prohibit cigarette companies from giving out free samples, restrict the distribution of smokeless tobacco samples and prohibit the sale of cigarette packs with less than 20 cigarettes, which could appeal to a younger customer who only smokes occasionally.

Additionally, the sale of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in vending machines and self-service displays will be prohibited, except in very limited situations, the FDA said.

Previously, the sale of flavored tobaccos was banned after regulators said that fruity scents attracted kids to smoking, and more recently, as MainStreet previously reported, the terms “light” and “ultra-light” will be removed from cigarette packaging since they’re not actually considered healthier than regular cigarettes.

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