Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the world. Currently, tobacco use leads to more than 5 million preventable deaths annually. Further compounding these deaths is the fact that the deaths attributable to tobacco smoking are expected to double by the year 2020. Besides having a detrimental effect on a person’s health, tobacco use also results in extreme societal costs such as damage to the environment, increased health care costs, burden to families, and reduced productivity. There is ample evidence that suggests that links tobacco use to various vascular diseases such as subclinical atherosclerosis and stroke, coronary heart disease, and respiratory diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia, and cancer, and also chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (Golechha, 2017). Given the detrimental effects of tobacco to individuals and the society, the incomes generated from production and sale of tobacco and tobacco products are way less than its devastating impacts. This paper examines the effects of the 2009 The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA) in minimizing the use of tobacco, decreasing tobacco’s harm and addictiveness, and encouraging cessation from the use of tobacco products.
In June 22, 2009, The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was signed into law by President Barak Obama. This law gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) board the authority of regulating the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution process of tobacco and tobacco products. In law, tobacco products refer to items that are extracted from tobacco for human consumption, which also includes any component or part of tobacco. Through this law, the FDA was granted authority to control cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, and roll-your-own tobacco (Ashley & Backinger, 2012, p. S256). In this regard, the FDA had more enhanced authority of regulating tobacco products depending on their effects on the country’s public health needs.
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA) is a public health policy that empowers the FDA to regulate the sale, use, and production of tobacco products. In this case, the TCA directs the FDA to examine the effects of all tobacco products in terms of benefits and harm to the community as a whole (smokers and non-smokers). Nonetheless, this regulation obliges the FDA to consider the likelihood of existing smokers increasing or reducing their consumption, or whether the tobacco products can increase or reduce the chances of non-smokers beginning to smoke (Ashley & Backinger, 2012, p. S256). In this regard, the TCA enhances the FDA’s mandate in controlling other influencers that can increase tobacco, use such advertisement and accessibility. Therefore, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA) aims the following:
- Stopping youths from engaging in tobacco use.
- Decreasing the harm and addictiveness of tobacco.
- Encouraging smokers to quit using tobacco.