FDA Regulation of Tobacco Jumps Last Hurdle
June 12, 2009
Legislation giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate tobacco products is on its way to becoming the law of the land.
After years of work on the part of the health care community, the bill passed in the Senate yesterday in a 79–17 vote, and legislators vowed to work quickly to resolve differences with the House version passed earlier this year and send the legislation on to President Obama for signing.
“We’ve been involved in supporting this legislation for at least the past five years,” says AARC Director of Government Affairs Cheryl West. “This is a great victory for all the AARC members who took the time to write their members of Congress and ask them to finally give the FDA purview over tobacco.”
According to Tobacco-Free Kids, who spearheaded the lobbying campaign, FDA regulation is coming not a moment too soon. Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in America, killing more than 400,000 Americans and costing the nation $96 billion in health care bills each year. Every day, another 1,200 lives are lost and more than 1,000 kids become new regular smokers.
“We want to thank all of the Senators and Representatives who voted to pass this historic legislation,” continues West. “FDA regulation of tobacco will pave the way for a healthier future not only for our children, but for everyone with the potential to be harmed by tobacco products.”
The legislation will: