Senate passes bill to let FDA regulate Tobacco industry

In a historic move that probably has my friend ACR gnashing on his stogie, the Senate yesterday passed a bill which will allow the FDA to regulate nicotine levels, bar flavor additives in tobacco products and require tough new warning labels on cigarette packages and advertising. It is expected to clear the House today and President Obama (a former smoker himself) has already issued a statement:

it will make history by giving the scientists and medical experts at the FDA the power to take sensible steps that will reduce tobacco’s harmful effects and prevent tobacco companies from marketing their products to children.
Each year, Americans pay nearly $100 billion in added health care costs due to smoking. Each day, about 1,000 young people under the age of 18 become regular smokers… My administration is committed to protecting our children and reforming our health care system – and moving forward with common-sense tobacco control measures is an integral part of that process. I look forward to signing this bill into law.”

The bill comes after a decade of fierce opposition from the cigarette industry and tobacco state politicians, plus threats of a veto from the Bush White House. In the end, the nation’s largest tobacco company, Philip Morris, supported the bill.

Senator Dodd, who acted as lead co-sponsor of the bill in the absence of sponsor Senator Edward Kennedy, said:

“By passing this bill we have scored a major victory for our children including the 15,000 in Connecticut who try cigarettes for the first time every year,” Dodd said. “76,000 Connecticut children, alive today, are expected to eventually die from smoking. This bill makes it harder for tobacco companies to addict our children, gives parents peace of mind, and will ultimately save lives.”

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13 responses to “Senate passes bill to let FDA regulate Tobacco industry

  1. How will this affect my Cuban cigars? Oh, wait…

  2. the nation’s largest tobacco company, Philip Morris, supported the bill.

    Figure it out people.

    Leaves PM largely alone but impacts their competitors in a negative fashion as it regards new-brand introductions and in-store display space.

    However – the biggest problem tobacco companies have is losing their customer base due to the current wave of no-smoking anywhere regs.
    Follow the money – the drug companies have spent a mint lobbying for stricter smoking regs from coast to coast – it helps them sell their quit smoking meds.
    Never mind the number of suicides attributed to both Wellbutrin and Chantix – besides who cares they were smokers anyway and no-doubt deserved to die.

    That will change.
    Smokers will be declared a class and as such denying an accommodation will become a Civil Rights issue.

    I’ve long viewed “No Smoking” as pretty much the same mindset as “Whites Only” – soon it quite literally will be.

    It’ll be interesting when the most vocal anti-tobacco zealots put that in their pipes and smoke it.

    More of this.

    Less of this.

  3. How will this affect my Cuban cigars? Oh, wait…

    Not much.

    Normalization of relations with Cuba will however and seeing as one Spanish company, now owned by the Brits, wrapped up that trade agreement with Cuba decades ago – it’ll be a boon.

  4. Can someone please tell me why smoking is still legal? If it is as bad as all these politicians say it is why doesn’t someone have the guts to make it illegal? I love how the Tom Swans, Chris Dodds and Chris Murphys of the world who do smoke (or at least at some time did smoke cigarettes) are so righteous on this issue.

    An oh by the way Obama admitted that he still smokes from “time to time.” So let’s not portray him to be some kind of “reformed smoker.” He’s admitted on 60 minutes that he has “broken down a few times” since becoming Pres.

    What I am saying is if this is so bad make it illegal and grandfather people 18 and older.

  5. This is somewhat off-topic (and was more appropriate yesterday), but it’s an Op-Ed about the best way to reduce health care costs for everyone in America: holding everyone responsible for his or her own health.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124476804026308603.html

  6. What I am saying is if this is so bad make it illegal and grandfather people 18 and older.

    Too much tax revenue, and way too many jobs that are not directly involved in tobacco at all; like convenience stores where 75% of all in-store purchases include some tobacco product.

    Because the anti-tobacco propaganda is loaded with lies and half-truths and even those that spout it know it.

    Incidence of “smoking related” health conditions or disease for non-smokers is 2.0%

    This includes emphysema, lung cancer and so forth.

    For smokers the number does in fact almost double to an astonishing 3.8%

    Of course what you hear repeated is;
    “Smoking almost doubles your odds of [health threat name here]”

    Which is true – but look at the odds – 3.8%???

    The way it’s framed has many (most?) people of the impression that smokers all get cancer unless they die in a car wreck earlier.

  7. Mr. Reality

    The state is great at this game…”We are going to raise taxes on cigarettes so less people will smoke…” yet at the same time the state is saying “Please start smoking so we can bring in more tax revenue..” The state is no different than big tobacco co’s.

    I don’t smoke, it’s not healthy. I chose not to do it. I didn’t need politicians or unhealthy people like Tom Swan to tell me that. Have another cheeseburger Tommy!

  8. The state is great at this game…”We are going to raise taxes on cigarettes so less people will smoke…” yet at the same time the state is saying “Please start smoking so we can bring in more tax revenue..” The state is no different than big tobacco co’s.

    Except states are starting to lose.

    Tobacco tax revenues in NJ declined after their last hike and NYC alone is awash with bootlegged product much of carrying a counterfeit tax stamp.

    RI recently sent their smokers to CT in droves by raising their state tax to $14 per-carton more than ours, resulting in a boon for both our taxpayers and retailers.

    It’s the 1st time anyone can recall where CT retailers have been on the winning side of a border as it regards any taxed product.

    We have two Greenwich retailers who have both added staff as well thanks to New York States $7.50 tax differential.

    There is a tipping point, and many states have exceeded it to their own detriment.

  9. CrankyYankee71

    Wait just a minute.

    Everytime politicians raise the tobacco taxes (including most recently), they say that the increased tax will go directly to fund health care for children. Now, Dodd says this measure will reduce smoking. Because Dodd voted for this, that means he voted to cut funding for children’s health care.

    Dodd obviously is against health care for children.

  10. Dodd obviously is against health care for children.

    Thank you!

    Buy ya a cup of coffee anytime!

  11. I’m thinking of quitting – as a tax protest.

  12. I’m thinking of quitting – as a tax protest.

    Don’t do it pal, think about the children!

  13. And the kittens! Don’t forget the kittens!

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