Bill to boost FDA tobacco regulation advances

Yesterday the House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced a bill that would give the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate tobacco products.

The measure would give the FDA the ability to regulate cigarette labels, prohibit certain kinds of products such as flavored cigarettes, and even recall tobacco products it deems to be unreasonably harmful.

“It’s hard to believe that the FDA regulates toothpaste but not cigarettes,” New Jersey Democrat Frank Pallone said in backing the bill, which would also boost tobacco fees to fund the new measure from $85 million to $712 million.

Opponents of the bill cited fears the bill would spur tobacco companies to merge into larger corporations that could better comply. The Federal Trade Commission will study the competitive impact of the bill. (Reuters)

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