Q:

Where can you get free samples of Skoal tobacco?

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Quick Answer

The only places to legally obtain free samples of Skoal tobacco products are in qualified adult-only facilities and at certain sporting events. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which became effective in 2010, places severe restrictions on the ability of tobacco companies to advertise and give away free samples of its products.

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Full Answer

The law prohibits tobacco companies from giving away free samples at baseball, basketball, football, hockey and soccer games. However, it doesn't apply to certain sporting events, such as auto races, rodeos and bull-riding competitions.

The law is a response to a Supreme Court ruling that the Food and Drug Administration under President Bill Clinton had overstepped its regulatory powers when it tried to force cigarette manufacturers to print new safety warnings on all tobacco products.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act clarifies that Congress establishes the FDA as the regulatory authority for tobacco products and empowers the Secretary of Health and Human Services to implement additional controls. The law also allows local governments to pass more restrictive measures to prevent the sampling of smokeless tobacco products in their jurisdictions.

Several tobacco companies filed suit in federal court, claiming the law infringed upon their constitutional rights. The district court upheld the provisions of the law, which was validated under appeal. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear further arguments in the case, thus upholding the decisions of the lower courts and establishing the legality of the law.

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