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Tobacco ‘Deeming’ Regs Go Into Effect Aug. 8

WASHINGTON — As of next Monday, Aug. 8, it will have been 90 days since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its final “deeming” regulations for cigars, pipe and hookah tobacco and electronic cigarettes. Aug. 8 also marks the date when the regulations officially go into effect.

A press release from the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) outlines which provisions affecting retailers will go into effect next Monday. As of that date, retailers:

• Must not sell e-cigarettes, hookah or pipe tobacco, or cigars to people under 18 years of age; also must check photo ID of everyone under age 27 who is attempting to purchase such products.
• Must not sell tobacco products covered under the rule in a vending machine (except in a facility where people under age 18 are not allowed on the premises).
• Must not give away free samples of any newly regulated tobacco products. (This provision also applies to manufacturers, importers, and distributors.)

Also, as of Aug. 8, manufacturers are prohibited from marketing “modified-risk tobacco products” without an FDA order in place. A modified-risk tobacco product includes a product with label, labeling or advertising that claims:

• It presents a lower risk of tobacco-related disease or is less harmful;
• The product or its smoke contains a reduced level of/presents a reduced exposure to a substance; or
• The product or its smoke does not contain/is free of a substance.

The FDA said modified-risk tobacco products using descriptors such as “low,” “light” or “mild” will be provided additional time to comply.

Aug. 8 also marks the deadline for manufacturers of newly deemed products to introduce new products without first obtaining FDA approval. Products on the market as of Aug. 8 will be provided additional time to comply with certain submission requirements, such as ingredient listing, health document submission and premarket tobacco applications.

The press release acknowledged that additional requirements for retailers and manufacturers will become effective at the end of the month, the end of 2016 and in the years that follow. A chart of compliance dates can be found here.

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