Deadline Nears for Nicotine Warning Labels on Ads

Products and both in-store, online ads will require statement by Aug. 10, NATO says

CHICAGO -- While the Aug. 10 deadline for nicotine warning labels on roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco, electronic cigarettes, e-vapor and hookah products seemed evident to retailers attending CSP’s Behind the Counter tobacco conference, many seemed surprised to discover that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deadline for such warning labels also applied to advertising they may have created for their stores and online.

Speaking at the July 31-Aug. 2 forum before about 60 retailers and supplier attendees, Thomas Briant, executive director of the Lakeville, Minn.-based NATO said the label must read: “WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.”

Included under the FDA’s rule are ads appearing at the point-of-sale (POS) and on display racks, as well as in posters, placards, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, brochures, direct mail, websites, TV, email messages, cellphone ads and social media posts.

When Briant asked how many retailers would still have to update their ads, about a dozen raised their hands.

The Aug. 10 warning-label deadline also applies to packaging on the actual products—RYO, e-cigarettes, e-vapor and hookah—with manufacturers needing to print and place the labels on their products by that date, Briant said.

He also noted that a similar FDA warning label deadline for cigars was put on hold, when a judge delayed its implementation in a recent ruling.

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