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Smokeless Tobacco Under Health Dept Purview

WASHINGTON (CN) - The Federal Trade Commission has dropped its proposed rule to require sponsored racing vehicles and other event-related objects bearing smokeless tobacco brand names, logos, or selling messages to also rotate-in health warnings, as the subject matter is now under purview of the Department of Health and Human Services.

On June 22, President Obama signed into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which transfers authority over the size, format, and display of the smokeless tobacco health warnings to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Family Smoking Prevention Act also directs the DHHS to re-issue its 1996 Regulations Restricting the Sale and Distribution of Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco to Protect Children and Adolescents, prohibiting cigarette and smokeless tobacco manufacturers from sponsoring athletic and entertainment events using brand names, logos, or selling messages.

During the comment period of the FTC rule, the agency received 200 substantive comments opposed to the proposed regulations and 17 in support of it. Race team petitions generally opposed the proposal, and 53,000 postcards contained a pre-printed message opposing the proposal.

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