House votes to give FDA tobacco powers

The FDA is one step closer to getting another industry to regulate. The House voted yesterday to give the agency the pleasure of supervising tobacco. FDA would be allowed to reject new tobacco products, restrict advertising and regulate nicotine levels in cigarettes. Outright bans, however, wouldn't be allowed.

The bill sailed through the House on a 298-112 vote. "This is truly a historic day in the fight against tobacco, and I am proud that we have taken such decisive action," House Energy and Commerce Chair Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) said in a statement.

President Obama supports the measure, so it's likely to make some progress in the Senate; last time the House sent a tobacco-regulation bill along, it got stuck in subcommittee because President Bush said he'd veto it. The bill may not squeeze through, however: Tobacco-friendly Sen. Richard Burr has threatened a filibuster. Stay tuned.

- read the Los Angeles Times story

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