The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a preliminary guidance on Friday, requiring tobacco companies to report the levels of dangerous chemicals in cigarettes, among other products.
This was the first time that tobacco companies are being mandated to report the amounts of 20 chemicals associated with cancer, lung disease, and other health problems. Starting next April, tobacco manufacturers will be required by the FDA to display this information, in a consumer-friendly format.
Aside from cigarettes, chews and other products will also fall under these rules, which aim to tighten the regulation of the tobacco industry. Other products that will need to follow these rules include, among others, ammonia, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde.
There are 93 harmful or potentially harmful chemicals in tobacco products that have been identified by regulators. The FDA, however is only focusing on 20 of these chemicals for the coming year. The FDA is accepting comments on the recently-released guidance until June 4, before the list is finalized.
In addition to the guidance involving the reporting of chemical levels, they also issued a guidance that enumerated the required scientific studies before a company will be allowed to market a modified-risk tobacco product. This includes extensive testing on health risks, user behavior and consumer understanding of marketing materials for new products.
Dr. Lawrence Deyton, director of the tobacco center at the FDA, said: “The law sets a high standard to make sure that tobacco products marketed to reduce risk actually reduce risk.”