Poll: Americans Back FDA Tobacco Authority, Regulation of Cigars & E-Cigarettes
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Today, the Campaign released a
public opinion poll showing strong voter support for FDA regulation of tobacco
and the extension of that authority to ALL tobacco products, including cigars
and e-cigarettes. Voters also strongly OPPOSE attempts in Congress
to exempt cigars from regulation. Our press release on the poll appears
below; it includes a link to the full set of materials from the poll.
These results affirm the importance of FDA asserting its authority over all
tobacco products and Congress doing nothing to diminish the FDA’s authority.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 27, 2013
Poll: Americans Strongly Back FDA Authority over Tobacco,
FDA to Regulate Cigars, E-Cigarettes,
Efforts in Congress to Exempt Cigars from Regulation
Four years after passage of a landmark law giving the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) the power to regulate tobacco products, American voters
strongly support the law and want the FDA to extend its authority to all
tobacco products, including cigars and electronic cigarettes, according to an
online poll conducted by the Mellman Group for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free
Kids. They strongly oppose efforts in Congress to prevent FDA from
findings of the poll include:
a 76 to 14 percent margin, voters back the 2009 law giving the FDA authority
over tobacco products, which included restrictions on sales and marketing to
a twenty percentage point margin (54-34) voters think the FDA should extend its
authority to regulate all tobacco products, including cigars, pipe tobacco, and
electronic cigarettes. After being shown pictures of a number of tobacco
products that are currently not subject to FDA regulation, support for regulation
of all tobacco products increased to 61 percent, with just 31 percent opposed.
overwhelming oppose (66 percent to 23 percent) legislation before Congress that
would prevent the FDA from regulating large premium cigars.
Mellman Group conducted the nationally representative online survey of 1,002
registered likely voters designed to simulate the likely November 2014 general
electorate. Interviews were conducted June 14-18, 2013.
2009 law directed the FDA to immediately regulate cigarettes, smokeless tobacco
and roll-your-own tobacco. It authorized the FDA to extend its authority
to all other tobacco products, including cigars and e-cigarettes. The FDA
stated its intention to do so in December 2010, but has yet to act. In
recent years, tobacco companies have introduced a variety of cheap flavored
cigars and other novel tobacco products that remain unregulated and clearly
appeal to children.
the meantime, some members of Congress have introduced legislation to exempt
certain cigars from FDA regulation. Public health advocates have opposed the
legislation, arguing that all tobacco products are harmful and should be
subject to science-based regulation to protect public health.
advocates have also expressed concerns that some smaller, cheaper,
sweet-flavored cigars that appeal to kids could also escape regulation under
the legislation, and that any cigar exemption would invite tobacco companies to
modify their products to avoid regulation. Tobacco companies have engaged
in such manipulation before, for example introducing candy and fruit-flavored
cigars to evade a ban on similarly-flavored cigarettes and increasing the
weight of cigars to evade higher taxes on smaller cigars. (According to
one recent report, by Bloomberg News, one tobacco company increased the weight
of its cigars by adding a clay material used in kitty litter.
poll results show that voters understand all tobacco products, including
cigars, are harmful and should be regulated by the FDA to protect our children
and the nation’s health,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for
Tobacco-Free Kids. "The public wants the scientists at the FDA –
not Congress, and certainly not the tobacco companies – to determine how best
to regulate tobacco products to reduce the death and disease they cause.
It is critical that FDA act quickly to regulate all tobacco products and that
Congress not diminish the agency’s authority.”
poll also found that voters strongly support specific provisions of the 2009
law, as well as potential actions the FDA might take to reduce tobacco use:
percent support requiring tobacco companies to disclose the ingredients in
percent support requiring manufacturers to reduce the amount of nicotine and
other substances to make tobacco products less addictive;
percent support preventing tobacco companies from making claims that some
products are less harmful than others, unless the FDA determines those claims
are true and will not cause more people to smoke;
percent support requiring tobacco companies to take measures, when
scientifically possible, to make tobacco products less harmful;
percent support requiring tobacco companies to inform the FDA any time they
make changes to cigarettes and other tobacco products, including increasing the
amount of nicotine;
percent support requiring large, graphic warning labels on cigarettes to better
convey the health risks of smoking (the FDA is developing new such warnings
after the courts blocked initial graphic warnings issued by the agency);
percent support requiring the removal of additives or ingredients that make
tobacco products more appealing to kids.
results of the poll, including a summary from the pollster and an annotated
questionnaire, can be found at http://tfk.org/press_office/2013/2013_06_survey.
The margin of error for the full survey is +/- 3.1 percentage points at the 95%
level of confidence. The margin of error is larger for
subgroups. The poll was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson
Source: Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids