FDA To Regulate Tobacco Products

In National News on June 16, 2009 at 11:51 am

Below is a great news release from our partners at Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids:

The U.S. Congress has delivered a truly historic victory for America’s children and health by approving legislation granting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate tobacco products.  President Obama supports the legislation and is expected to sign it into law in the near future.

On June 11, 2009, the U.S. Senate voted 79 to 17 to approve the bill, H.R. 1256/S. 982, known as the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

On June 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 307 to 97 to approve the identical bill.

The bill is sponsored by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and U.S. Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Todd Platts (R-PA).

Members of Congress and public health organizations have worked for more than a decade to grant the FDA authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco products.  This bill will end the special protection the tobacco industry has enjoyed for far too long and protect our nation’s children and health instead.  It represents the strongest action Congress has ever taken to reduce tobacco use, the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

Tobacco use kills more than 400,000 Americans and costs the nation $96 billion in health care bills each year. Every day, another 1,200 lives are lost and more than 1,000 kids become new regular smokers.

Yet, until now, tobacco products have escaped the FDA’s common-sense regulations that apply to other consumer products, such as food, drugs and even lipstick. This legislation will:

Crack down on tobacco marketing and sales to kids.

Require larger, more effective health warnings on tobacco products.

Require tobacco companies to disclose the contents of tobacco products, as well as changes in products and research about their health effects.

Ban terms such as “light” and “low-tar” that mislead consumers into believing that certain cigarettes are safer.

Strictly regulate all health-related claims about tobacco products to ensure they are scientifically proven and do not discourage current tobacco users from quitting or encourage new users to start.

Empower the FDA authority to require changes in tobacco products, such as the removal or reduction of harmful ingredients.

This legislation has been endorsed by more than 1,000 public health, faith and other organizations across the country. And it is supported by 70 percent of American voters.


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