Consumer Corner

Health Warning Statements

Our mission at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is twofold. We protect the public from misleading or improperly labeled alcohol products, and we collect tax revenue from the alcohol, tobacco, and firearms industries. We carry out these responsibilities, by developing regulations, testing product samples, and conducting investigations and audits to ensure that industry members follow all Federal laws.

The Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act requires TTB to review and approve all alcohol labels and advertising. The law requires that we take steps to do three things:

  1. Prevent consumer deception,
  2. Provide the consumer with adequate information about the product, and
  3. Prevent product statements that are false or that may mislead the consumer.

In addition, Congress passed a law, the Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act of1988, to require a Government warning statement on all containers of alcohol beverages. Congress required the warning label to "inform and remind the American public of the health hazards that may result from the consumption or abuse of alcoholic beverages."

This law specifies how the label should appear and the exact words to use. TTB must provide specific format requirements, such as the size of the letters, and to ensure that the alcohol labels we approve for the industry conform to those requirements.

TTB is responsible for monitoring the warning statements that members of the alcohol and tobacco industry place on their product labels.