To better reflect product descriptions and enforce commitment to diversity and inclusion, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) updated its term “grandfathered tobacco product” to “pre-existing tobacco product” in August 2022.

Along with more clearly describing products, FDA explained that the term grandfathered has roots in past racist voting laws when used to describe exemption from a new law or regulation. FDA said the change doesn’t affect the definition and that a pre-existing tobacco product is the same as a grandfathered tobacco product.

“This important update will not adversely impact CTP’s continued progress on programmatic work to protect the public from the harms associated with tobacco use, including review of premarket applications and enforcement of illegally marketed tobacco products,” FDA said. “We will continue to use the best available evidence to make marketing authorization decisions while enforcing regulations that reduce the public health burden of tobacco products at the population level. At the same time, we must also continue our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by updating this outdated term.”

Words often hurt, but so does the use of tobacco products, which are known carcinogens for various types of cancer. Educate your patients on the dangers of tobacco and advocate for cessation efforts.