Thursday, June 11, 2009

Senate passes bill to let FDA regulate tobacco.

I'm finding this hard to believe -- it sounds almost too rational to be true:

The Senate approved landmark legislation today that would give the government sweeping new power to oversee tobacco . . . .

For the first time, the $89 billion tobacco industry would have to disclose the ingredients in its products. Under the new authority, the FDA could ban the most harmful of the estimated 6,000 chemicals used in cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products. And it could reduce the amount of nicotine, perhaps to a point where tobacco is no longer addictive and smokers who want to quit can break free more easily. The legislation requires tobacco companies to expand the size of warning labels and include graphic images of the health effects of tobacco.

Advertising and promotion will also would be restricted. Tobacco manufacturers would be unable to use the terms "light," "mild" and "low" unless they can scientifically prove that the product so labeled is less harmful than standard tobacco.