Obama signs tobacco legislation
WASHINGTON President Barack Obama signed legislation into law Monday that imposes sweeping new regulations on tobacco.
The law, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, bans several common tobacco products and marketing techniques and creates a new center within the Food and Drug Administration, the Center for Tobacco Products, to oversee regulation of the industry.
In an address in the White House Rose Garden, Obama cited the tobacco industry’s targeting of children.
“They’re aggressively targeted as customers by the tobacco industry,” Obama said. “They’re exposed to a constant and insidious barrage of advertising where they live, where they learn and where they play. Most insidiously, they are offered products with flavorings that mask the taste of tobacco and make it more tempting.”
Those products, such as cigarettes flavored with cloves and fruit, will be gone by October, though menthol cigarettes will remain legal. Products advertised as “light,” “low-tar” and “mild” will disappear from store shelves by July 2010.
Other youth-targeted marketing, such as sponsorship of athletic and entertainment events using tobacco product brand names and logos, selling or giving out promotional items with brand names and logos of tobacco products and distributing free cigarette samples will also be banned, as will tobacco advertising within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds. Distributing free samples of smokeless tobacco will still be allowed in adults-only venues.
Tobacco companies must submit to the agency a full list of additives and ingredients in tobacco products, a description of nicotine content and delivery and information about the health effects of tobacco by January 2010. By July 2011, cigarette packs will carry warning labels that occupy half of the front and back panels.
“Today, thanks to the work of Democrats and Republicans, healthcare and consumer advocates, the decades-long effort to protect our children from the harmful effects of tobacco has emerged victorious,” Obama said.
NAMI releases PSA initiative regarding psychological disorders
ARLINGTON, Va. A nonprofit organization hopes that a new series of public service announcements it has released will encourage people to connect with each other to help themselves, their families and friends who live with psychological disorders.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness announced this week that it had released a PSA initiative called “Puzzle Pieces” that includes four 60-second and three 30-second radio PSAs featuring testimonials from individuals and families that describe their experiences with mental illnesses and the role NAMI played in their recovery.
“We know that with early detection, appropriate treatment and support from family and friends, people with mental illness can lead healthy, rewarding lives,” NAMI executive director Michael Fitzpatrick said. “NAMI members connect to educate each other and encourage their loved ones during their personal journeys to wellness.”
The organization said that an estimated 1-in-5 American families is affected by mental illnesses, including major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder.
KV Pharmaceutical, Gedeon Richter announce licensing agreement
BUDAPEST, Hungary An American drug maker has signed a licensing agreement with a Hungarian pharmaceutical company.
KV Pharmaceutical Co. announced that it had entered into an agreement with Budapest, Hungary-based Gedeon Richter and its American subsidiary for licensing rights to KV technologies and products in the women’s health category.
Under the agreement, Gedeon Richter will have the right to manufacture and distribute certain proprietary technologies and products from KV in the European Union and other areas where it does business, while KV will receive undisclosed milestones and royalties for products that the two companies develop. KV will retain U.S. rights.
“KV Pharmaceutical and Gedeon Richter have for many years enjoyed an excellent relationship and business collaboration, and we are very pleased to extend it in this fashion,” KV Pharmaceutical Co. interim CEO David Van Vliet stated. “We believe this agreement allows both Richter and KV to offer additional enhanced products to more completely serve physicians and their patients.”