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Date: Friday, Aug. 23, 1996
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jim O'Hara,
(301) 443-1130



REDUCING CHILDREN'S USE OF TOBACCO

A Chronology

February 25, 1994: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), responding to a petition asking FDA to regulate low-tar and low- nicotine cigarettes, writes a letter to the Coalition on Smoking or Health stating that the Agency will consider the question of whether it has jurisdiction over nicotine-containing tobacco products.

March 25, 1994: Food and Drug Commissioner David A. Kessler, M.D., testifies before the Subcommittee on Health and the Environment of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on FDNs preliminary evidence -- including industry patents and analysis of nicotine-to- tar ratios -- that cigarette companies control the levels of nicotine in a manner that creates and sustains addiction in the vast majority of smokers.

April 14, 1994: The Subcommittee on Health and the Environment of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce hears testimony from the chief executives of seven tobacco companies on the industry's views on nicotine addiction and on industry practices with regard to nicotine, and each executive denies that nicotine in tobacco products is addictive.

April 28, 1994: The Subcommittee on Health and the Environment of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce hears testimony from two former Philip Morris scientists, Victor DeNoble and Paul Mele, on their company-sponsored research establishing the addictive properties of nicotine.

June 21, 1994: Food and Drug Commissioner David A. Kessler, M.D., testifies before the Subcommittee on Health and the Environment of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on evidence developed by the FDA of the cigarette industry's manipulation of nicotine, specifically one company's breeding of high nicotine levels in one strain of tobacco and the use of chemical compounds in cigarettes to enhance nicotine delivery to smokers.

August 2, 1994: FDA's Drug Abuse Advisory Committee holds a public hearing on the addictiveness of nicotine-containing tobacco products and concludes that products currently marketed contain nicotine at levels sufficient to create and sustain addiction in consumers.

August 10, 1995: President Clinton announces the proposed FDA rule to reduce the access and appeal of tobacco products to children and adolescents and his goal of reducing children's use of tobacco products by 50 percent within seven years of final Agency action. The rule is published the next day in the Federal Register and a public comment period begins.

January 2, 1996: The pubic comment period for the proposed FDA rule closes, with a total of more than 95,000 different comments -- more than 700,000 pieces of mail -- received.

January 18, 1996: The Department of Health and Human Services and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration issue the final Synar Rule designed to ensure that states and territories adopt and enforce laws prohibiting the sale or distribution of tobacco products to children.

March 18, 1996: FDA re-opens the public comment period for the limited purpose of seeking comments on the statements of three former Philip Morris employees about that company's manipulation of nicotine in the design and production of cigarettes and to seek comments on further explanations of certain provisions in the proposed rule.

April 19, 1996: The limited comment period closes.

August 23, 1996: President Clinton announces the publication of the final FDA rule to restrict access and reduce appeal of tobacco products for children and adolescents and FDA's proposal to mount a national mass-media campaign for young people on the dangers of tobacco use.