Smoking foes see a turning point in their long battle against the tobacco industry as Congress prepares to send President Barack Obama a bill giving the government broad authority to determine how cigarettes will be made, marketed and sold.
The House was scheduled to vote Friday on legislation, passed just a day before by the Senate, that for the first time would put the Food and Drug Administration in charge of regulating cigarettes and other tobacco products.
The measure puts special emphasis on dissuading some of the 3,500 young people who every day smoke a cigarette for the first time. The FDA would ban use of candied and other flavored tobacco used to entice young smokers, stop advertising that targets children, make it harder for underaged youth to buy cigarettes, require stronger warning labels and bar use of expressions such as "light" or "mild" that suggest that those brands are less harmful.
The FDA would also require tobacco companies to reveal the contents of their products and seek approval for marketing new products. It gives the FDA power to order changes to ingredients, including tar and nicotine, to protect public health.
What do you think? Post a comment on this article and share your opinion with other readers. Submit your comments to Modern Healthcare Online at [email protected]. Please be sure to include your hometown and state, along with your organization and title.