Proposed Legislation Would Let FDA Regulate Tobacco
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) this month plans to introduce legislation that would give FDA regulatory power over the tobacco industry, the Boston Globe reports.
Kennedy's legislation would allow FDA to monitor "false or misleading" advertising, as well as marketing aimed at children. The legislation also would require tobacco companies to provide FDA with a list of ingredients and additives in their products.
Kennedy said, "We cannot in good conscience allow the Food and Drug Administration -- the federal agency most responsible for protecting the public health -- to remain powerless to deal with the enormous risks of tobacco."
The legislation has the support of Philip Morris, which has 50.4% share of the domestic cigarette market.
Lisa Gonzales, a spokesperson for Philip Morris' parent company, said FDA regulation would bring "uniformity" that could "potentially reduce the harm caused by smoking."
However, smaller cigarette manufacturers and tobacco growers are concerned that they would be hurt by new regulation, the Globe reports.
Don Anderson, a Virginia tobacco grower, said the regulation of advertising tends to favor high-recognition brands and hurt smaller brands that rely on ads for sales (Henderson, Boston Globe, 1/3).