Federal Regulation of Other Tobacco Products

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate any product made or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption. While the law initially required the agency to regulate only cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco. The FDA was allowed to establish its regulatory authority over all other tobacco products through the formal rulemaking process. 

As new products with uncertain health effects continued to be introduced to the market, public health groups, led by the Public Health Law Center, filed a Citizen Petition requesting that the FDA extend its authority and regulate all tobacco products to protect public health. 

In 2014, the FDA finally released a proposed rule to begin regulating e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah and all other tobacco products. The agency received over 100,000 comments on the proposal, including extensive comments by the Consortium.

On May 10, 2016, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) published the final rule, deeming all tobacco products to be subject to its authority. Just over a week later, we hosted a webinar featuring the director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products explaining the rule to the public health community. While the rule is long and complex, we have broken it down into its simplest terms to help the public health community understand the repercussions. We have also identified the most important impacts that this regulation will have on state and local regulation of the same products.

Shortly after the final rule was published, e-cigarette and cigar companies began filing lawsuits challenging the rule. We have extensive, up-to-date information on all of these lawsuits, and if you just want a snapshot of the litigation, we have a resource for that as well.


Featured resources are below. Other relevant resources in right sidebar (desktop/tablet), or end of page (mobile).

A post-deeming world

State and Local Tobacco Regulation in a Post-Deeming World (2016)

On May 5, 2016, the FDA issued the final rule deeming all existing and future tobacco products to be subject to the agency’s jurisdiction. This fact sheet will identify the gaps left by the deeming regulation that can be filled at the state and local levels.


The Deeming Regulation: FDA Authority Over E-Cigarettes, Cigars, and Other Tobacco Products (2017)

On May 10, 2016, the FDA issued the final rule deeming all existing and future tobacco products to be subject to the agency’s jurisdiction. This factsheet explains what this new rule means for federal tobacco regulation and what steps the FDA must still take to protect public health. Updated Nov. 7, 2017.

Girl with cigarette

Current Status of Deeming Litigation

Brief overview of recent lawsuits filed challenging the FDA’s deeming rule as of May 26, 2017.