U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Should Not… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Should Not Impact FDA’s Authority to Regulate Tobacco Products

Statement of Yolonda C. Richardson, President and CEO, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
June 28, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – It is deeply disappointing that the U.S. Supreme Court today overturned the longstanding legal principle known as Chevron deference, which requires courts to defer to agencies’ reasonable interpretations of ambiguous statutes. This principle has long helped ensure that healthcare and other laws are interpreted and implemented appropriately by expert federal agencies.

However, this ruling should not impact the FDA’s ability to regulate tobacco products because the 2009 Tobacco Control Act granted the FDA unambiguous authority to take critical actions, including the authority to set product standards like prohibiting menthol in cigarettes and limiting nicotine levels in cigarettes and other tobacco products. The law grants the FDA the authority to establish tobacco product standards including “for nicotine yields of the product” and “for the reduction or elimination of other constituents, including smoke constituents, or harmful components of the product.” The law also explicitly requires pre-market review of new tobacco products before they are allowed on the market. Today’s ruling does not impact the FDA’s authority on these critical issues, and the FDA should move forward in exercising this authority to protect public health and save lives.