The FDA prohibited the distribution of free samples of cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, cigarette tobacco, and smokeless tobacco in 2010. The ruling’s wording was not broad enough and only included specific tobacco products. While it would have been most beneficial to prohibit free samples of ALL tobacco products, the FDA did not have regulatory oversight of e-devices, hookah, and cigars until 2016.
This new regulation shows how important it is to include broader terminology in any tobacco-related policy from the start. E-cigarettes, cigars, and hookah were able to slip through the cracks for 7 years, but the FDA is hoping this will make it harder for youth to get their hands on these products. Events that hand out these freebies make it more difficult for vendors to check for proof of age. Youth are also known to be very cost-sensitive when it comes to tobacco products and are less likely to purchase products with high prices.