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FDA closer to being given responsibility of tobacco regulation


WASHINGTON Congress has been working towards giving the Food and Drug Administration more authority to regulate tobacco products, despite emerging doubts from lawmakers about the FDA’s ability to add another responsibility to its workload.

According to published reports, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 38-12 to allow the FDA to place larger and more in-depth health warnings on tobacco products, as well as reducing their nicotine levels.

Many representatives feel that this job should be given to the Federal Trade Commission, including Joe Barton, R-Texas, who stated that, “This legislation, if it becomes law, would require the FDA to take on a task that is enormous, complex and completely outside its regulatory experience. It will almost necessitate a diversion from its core functions.”

Many of the officials approving the idea feel that if the FDA were to be given this responsibility they would also have to receive the funding for it. This would allow them to ban candy-flavored cigarettes and prohibit terms of “light” or “Mild,” according to published reports. These changes would hope to decrease such numbers as 45 million Americans who smoke and 400,000 smoking-related deaths each year.

“This bill will put a stop to decades of Big Tobacco marketing,” stated Daniel Smith, president of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, “aimed at addicting each new generation of young people to their deadly products.”

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