[JURIST] A group of lawmakers from the US Senate and House of Representatives on Thursday introduced [press release] the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act [S 2461 text; PDF], which would give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [official website] the same authority to regulate tobacco products as it has over other consumer products. The bill, which cites the dangers of tobacco smoke and the economic burden on the American medical system, would allow the FDA to enforce stronger warning labels on tobacco products, and also to decrease the amount of addictive ingredients, such as nicotine, that tobacco companies put in their products.
According to the bill's findings:
Because past efforts to restrict advertising and marketing of tobacco products have failed adequately to curb tobacco use by adolescents, comprehensive restrictions on the sale, promotion, and distribution of such products are needed....The FDA first began to regulate the tobacco industry in 1996, but after the tobacco industry sued, the US Supreme Court ruled in FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. [text] that Congress had not provided the FDA with authority to regulate tobacco products. AP has more.
It is in the public interest for Congress to enact legislation that provides the Food and Drug Administration with the authority to regulate tobacco products and the advertising and promotion of such products.