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March 12, 1997

FDA Timetable Set for Reducing Use of Tobacco by Children and Adolescents

JAMA. 1997;277(10):778. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540340012005

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ANTISMOKING efforts have moved to a new phase—regulatory control aimed at reducing smoking by youngsters, and legal moves by the tobacco industry to counter the new rules.

Last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued regulations specifying how the agency intended to act to reduce the numbers of children and adolescents who use tobacco.

Now this move, described as "the most far-reaching measure ever instituted to reduce the use of tobacco by young people," comes shortly after reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention citing a one-third increase in smoking among 8th and 10th graders between 1991 and 1995.

In February, the FDA laid out the timetable it plans to use to implement these regulations. On the very day the agency announced its schedule, lawyers for the tobacco and advertising businesses were in court in Greensboro, NC, asking a federal judge to overturn the FDA's moves.