Lawmakers Reintroduce Legislation To Allow FDA To Regulate Tobacco Products
Sens. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) on Thursday reintroduced a bill that would allow FDA to regulate the sale, marketing and advertising of tobacco products, the AP/Raleigh News & Observer reports (Roxe, AP/Raleigh News & Observer, 3/18).
Similar legislation passed the Senate last year but failed in the House after supporters tied the regulation to a tobacco-buyout program in the corporate tax bill (CongressDaily, 3/18). The tax bill ultimately passed without the regulation provision.
The legislation introduced on Thursday would allow FDA to regulate tobacco not as a drug but as a product in a new category. The bill also would allow FDA to require companies to list all ingredients added to cigarettes and other forms of consumer tobacco. However, the bill would prevent FDA from banning cigarettes and from eliminating nicotine, although the agency could reduce the amount of nicotine.
Similar legislation likely will be reintroduced in the House by Reps. Tom Davis (R-Va.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), sponsors of last year's House bill. DeWine said, "The detrimental effects of smoking are widely known. But many consumers, including smokers, are surprised to learn that no federal agency has the authority to require tobacco companies to list the ingredients that are in their products" (AP/Raleigh News & Observer, 3/18).