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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is inviting public comment on possible changes to smokeless tobacco product warnings. Comments should be supported by scientific evidence, and should address how changes in the warnings would affect users’ and nonusers’ understanding of the risks associated with the products, according to

Comments can be submitted to by April 1.

Under the Family Smoking Prevention & Tobacco Control Act, signed into law in 2009, the FDA has authority to regulate the manufacture, marketing and distribution of tobacco, the article notes. The law requires that health warnings appear on smokeless tobacco product packages and advertising.

The law also requires that smokeless tobacco product packages and ads must contain one of four required warnings: the product can cause mouth cancer, the product can cause gum disease and tooth loss, the product is not a safe alternative to cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco is addictive. One of these four statements must appear on each of the two main display panels of the package, and must take up at least 30 percent of each of the panels.

The law gives the FDA authority to make various changes to the labels if the agency “finds that such a change would promote greater public understanding of the risks associated with the use of smokeless tobacco products.”

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