Selected Actions of the U.S. Government Regarding the Regulation of Tobacco Sales, Marketing, and Use (excluding laws pertaining to agriculture or excise tax)


Federal Communications Commission rules that the Fairness Doctrine (an attempt to ensure that all coverage of controversial issues by a broadcast station be balanced and fair) applies to cigarette advertising. Stations broadcasting cigarette commercials must donate air time to antismoking messages.


Fairness Doctrine antismoking messages end when cigarette advertising is prohibited on radio and television.


Civil Aeronautics Board requires no-smoking sections on all commercial airline flights.


Cigarettes are discontinued in K-rations and C-rations given to soldiers and sailors.


Department of Health and Human Services establishes a smokefree environment in its facilities.


Federal Trade Commission takes first enforcement action under the Comprehensive Smokeless Tobacco Health Education Act, alleging that Pinkerton Tobacco Company’s Red Man brand name appeared illegally during a televised event.


Environmental Protection Agency releases final risk assessment on environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and classifies ETS as a “Group A” (known human) carcinogen.


Occupational Safety and Health Administration announces proposed regulation to prohibit smoking in the workplace, except in separately ventilated smoking rooms.


Department of Defense (DOD) bans smoking in DOD workplaces.


Department of Justice reaches a settlement with Philip Morris to remove tobacco advertisements from the line of sight of television cameras in sports stadiums.


President Clinton announces the publication of the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed regulations that would restrict the sale, distribution, and marketing of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products to protect children and adolescents.


On August 23, 1996, President Clinton announces the nation’s first comprehensive program to prevent children and adolescents from smoking cigarettes or using smokeless tobacco and beginning a lifetime of nicotine addiction. With the August 1996 publication of a final rule on tobacco in the Federal Register, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will regulate the sale and distribution of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to children and adolescents. The provisions of the FDA rule are aimed at reducing youth access to tobacco products and the appeal of tobacco advertising to young people. Additionally, the FDA will propose to require the major tobacco companies to educate young people about the real health dangers associated with tobacco use through a multimedia campaign.


President Clinton announces an Executive Order to make all federal workplaces smoke-free.


The Supreme Court rules against the Food and Drug Administration finding that the agency lacks the authority to regulate tobacco.


Effective July 22, 2010, the law prohibits the tobacco industry from distributing or introducing into the U.S. market any tobacco products for which the labeling or advertising contains the descriptors “light,” “low,” “mild,” or any similar descriptor, irrespective of the date of manufacture.