FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 529 U.S. 120, 18 (2000)

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Cite as: 529 U. S. 120 (2000)

Opinion of the Court

The FDCA's misbranding and device classification provisions therefore make evident that were the FDA to regulate cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, the Act would require the agency to ban them. In fact, based on these provisions, the FDA itself has previously taken the position that if tobacco products were within its jurisdiction, "they would have to be removed from the market because it would be impossible to prove they were safe for their intended us[e]." Public Health Cigarette Amendments of 1971: Hearings before the Commerce Subcommittee on S. 1454, 92d Cong., 2d Sess., 239 (1972) (hereinafter 1972 Hearings) (statement of FDA Comm'r Charles Edwards). See also Cigarette Labeling and Advertising: Hearings before the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, 88th Cong., 2d Sess., 18 (1964) (hereinafter 1964 Hearings) (statement of Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) Secretary Anthony Celebrezze that proposed amendments to the FDCA that would have given the FDA jurisdiction over "smoking prod-uct[s]" "might well completely outlaw at least cigarettes").

Congress, however, has foreclosed the removal of tobacco products from the market. A provision of the United States Code currently in force states that "[t]he marketing of tobacco constitutes one of the greatest basic industries of the United States with ramifying activities which directly affect interstate and foreign commerce at every point, and stable conditions therein are necessary to the general welfare." 7 U. S. C. 1311(a). More importantly, Congress has directly addressed the problem of tobacco and health through legislation on six occasions since 1965. See Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (FCLAA), Pub. L. 89-92, 79 Stat. 282; Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969, Pub. L. 91-222, 84 Stat. 87; Alcohol and Drug Abuse Amendments of 1983, Pub. L. 98-24, 97 Stat. 175; Comprehensive Smoking Education Act, Pub. L. 98-474, 98 Stat. 2200; Comprehensive Smokeless Tobacco Health Education Act of 1986, Pub. L. 99-252, 100 Stat. 30; Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental


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