Tobaccoland

Regulation & Industry Response, 1950s–1990s

Alongside consumer education campaigns and grassroots Non-Smokers’ Rights movements, both state and federal government agencies began to push legislation and regulation of tobacco products beginning in the mid-1970s. In 1995, the Food and Drug Administration asserted that nicotine was a drug and therefore subject to federal regulation under its jurisdiction. Tobacco companies, trade organizations, and their representatives in the advertising industry repeatedly challenged these efforts in court on First Amendment grounds, claiming that the FDA lacked regulatory authority, and by suggesting the proposals would be ineffective in reducing youth smoking. The tobacco industry simultaneously attempted to undercut any proposed regulation by funding its own anti-youth smoking initiatives, fostering an organized Smokers’ Rights Movement, and linking further federal regulation with “big government” overreach.

Regulation & Industry Response, 1950s–1990s

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