Senate Passes Tobacco Regulation Bill

The US Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill that would regulate and control the tobacco industry by a vote of 79-17. The vote would give the FDA new powers to regulate and restrict tobacco companies in the manufacturing and marketing of their products.
Not since 1971 when television ads for cigarettes were banned has the government been able to step in and impose strict new controls on the powerful industry. The measure will now move to the US House of Representatives where it is expected to easily pass. President Obama has promised to sign the bill as soon as it reaches the Oval Office.
The bill would give the FDA new powers to ban harmful chemical additives in cigarettes. The bill also gives the regulatory agency the power to limit nicotine in cigarettes as well as ban flavored cigarettes.
The marketing of tobacco products will also face stricter controls. Any outdoor tobacco advertising within 1,000 feet of a school or playground will be banned. Additionally, visual marketing displays will only appear in black and white. Perhaps most importantly, cigarette makers will have to stop using the terms “light” or “low tar” in their labeling and marketing campaigns. In their place will be larger, more visible health warnings about the dangers of tobacco.
This is the first real step in the right direction since the Surgeon General declared 40 years ago that smoking posed a serious health hazard.