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DeathscytheX

Historic anti-smoking vote to give FDA new power

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090611/ap_on_go_co/us_fda_tobacco

WASHINGTON – Congress struck the government's strongest anti-smoking blow in decades Thursday with a Senate vote to give regulators new power to limit nicotine in cigarettes, drastically curtail ads and ban candied tobacco products aimed at young people.

Cigarette foes say the changes could cut into the 400,000 deaths every year caused by smoking and reduce the $100 billion in annual health care costs linked to tobacco.

The legislation, one of the most dramatic anti-smoking initiatives since the U.S. surgeon general's warning 45 years ago that tobacco causes lung cancer, would give the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate the content, marketing and advertising of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

"This legislation represents the strongest action Congress has ever taken to reduce tobacco use, the leading preventable cause of death in the United States," declared Matthew Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids.

The 79-17 Senate vote sends the measure back to the House, which in April passed a similar but not identical version. House acceptance of the Senate bill would send it directly to President Barack Obama, who supports the action. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that "from what I have seen so far, I believe it will be possible for us to accept their bill and send it right on to the president."

Obama's signature would then add tobacco to other huge, nationally important areas that have come under greater government supervision since his presidency began. Those include banking, housing and autos. Still to come, if Congress can agree: health care.

Supporters of FDA regulation of tobacco have struggled for more than a decade to overcome powerful resistance — from the industry and elsewhere. In 2000 the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the agency did not have the authority under current law to regulate tobacco products, and the George W. Bush administration opposed several previous efforts by Congress to write a new law.

Thursday's legislation gives the FDA power to evaluate the contents of tobacco products and to order changes or bans on those that are a danger to public health. The agency could limit nicotine yields but not ban nicotine or cigarettes.

Regulators could prohibit tobacco companies from using candy or other flavors in cigarettes that tend to attract young smokers, and restrict advertising in publications often read by teenagers. Rules on sales to minors would be toughened, as would warning labels. Tobacco companies would have to get FDA approval for new products, and would be barred from using terms such as "light" or "mild" that imply a smaller health risk.

Costs of the new program would be paid for through a fee imposed on tobacco companies.

"This is a bill that will protect children and will protect America," said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., a leading supporter. "Every day that we don't act, 3,500 American kids — children — will light up for the first time. That is enough to fill 70 school buses."

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that FDA regulation could reduce underage smoking by 11 percent over the next decade. There are more than 40 million smokers in America.

The bill, said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown, "provides a tremendous opportunity to finally hold tobacco companies accountable and restrict efforts to addict more children and adults."

The tobacco lobby, contended Durbin, has long been the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill, "and they managed to create an exemption in virtually every law so that no federal agency could take a look at them and regulate them."

But the industry has also taken hits in recent years as the dangers of smoking became more apparent and states moved to limit smoking in public places. In 1998 the industry agreed to pay the states $206 billion to help cover health care costs, and this year Congress raised the federal cigarette tax by 62 cents, to $1.01 a pack, to fund a health care program for children.

The nation's largest tobacco manufacturer, Philip Morris, USA, has come out in support of the legislation. Its parent company, Altria Group, said in a statement that on balance, "the legislation is an important step forward to achieve the goal we share with others to provide federal regulation of tobacco products."

Its main rivals, however, have voiced opposition, arguing in part that FDA restrictions on new products will lock in Philip Morris' share of the market.

Lawmakers portrayed the bill as a major first step in bringing down health care costs, an essential goal of the health care overhaul legislation that is the top priority of the Obama administration this year.

"This bill may do more in the area of prevention, if adopted, than anything else we may include in the health care bill in the short term," said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who managed the legislation on the Senate floor in the absence of the ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., who has long promoted FDA regulation.

Opponents, led by Republican Sen. Richard Burr of the tobacco-growing state of North Carolina, argued that the FDA, which is in charge of ensuring the safety of food and drug products, was the wrong place to regulate an item that is injurious to health.

He also contended that the bill would restrict tobacco companies, including several based in his state, from developing new products that might be less harmful to users. He unsuccessfully proposed the creation of a new agency that would both regulate tobacco products and encourage efforts to make cigarettes less harmful.

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sounds like a good step forward.

in the UK we have pretty strong regulations on tobacco. age requirement was raised to 18 (from 16).

No advertising

Graphic images printed on cig boxes (like a charged lung)

and a smocking ban prohibiting smocking in any building other then that if your own home.

does the US have any similar regulations?


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Smoking age has always been 18 here....in NJ they raised it to 19 and most states have the no smoking in building other then your home too


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"That fairy needs to stop shouting in my ear, or I'm going to throw her friend I have trapped in the bottle into a lava pit or something. HEY, LISTEN! No, YOU listen. If something's important, just say so without yelling at me. Or fly over to it and change color like you usually do. Just because I'm busy mowing the lawn and hoping I'll find some spare change, doesn't mean I can't hear you." - Link

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regulate the content
fuckin finally!!!!!!

NY is 18 or 19 to buy butts depending on the county.

No smoking in public buildings and grounds, public parks etc

No tv or radio commercials, warning of disease associated w/ smoking on every pack

and taxed out the assssssss


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Now the FDA will be able to see a full listing of all the secret ingredients in the various tobacco products. :look:

I see this as a major step toward the federal legalization of marijuana. Once the FDA gets used to tobacco regulation, assigning marijuana regulation to the FDA won't be nearly as unfeasible.


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would you want marijuana legal? (other then medical use)

i mean if 1/2 the people you meet are stoned ...............

but even if Marijuana isn't that 'bad' (being open minded), it is just the variations of it really screw about with you.

getting stoned on the weekend with your friends in your house / garden is one thing, but ever had to work with people stoned, just not fun ;p

back on point. tobacco companies need to be torn apart, there responsible for more deaths then the army.

Stripping down what go's in a cigarette and making the public more aware of specific chemicals or what not could be a great step forward in a healthier tomorow


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Bruce Campbell: '' This place has more security then the Batcave ''

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Medicinal use the key thing. But of course they could technically legalize marijuana altogether like alcohol. Getting high in the bathroom on your break is just as easy as taking a couple shots from a hidden flask. Employers should crack down on stoned workers just as they would to drunk ones.

And yeah, I agree with you about the tobacco companies. I'm looking forward to the FDA possibly forcing the tobacco companies to actually create real "light" cigarettes with lower nicotine, etc. in them so they can act as an actual lower dose/help you quite cigarette.


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the way our governments are taxing things, even if weed was legalised, it still be cheaper from a crack headed dealer ;p


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Bruce Campbell: '' This place has more security then the Batcave ''

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Probably. :P

I think the only thing that would hold back federal legalization at this moment would be the fact that so many underground marijuana growers will incorporated themselves. Seeing as they have an existing production and distribution lines already in place, they'll quickly emerge as the dominant marijuana producers and blow away any tobacco, federal or bulk farming companies. And of course, if those companies exist outside of the US (which alot do), they'll be mostly tax exempt. So, the feds need to crack down more on drug trafficking until the locals or even the federal government itself, can grow enough for the nation. :P


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fuckin tobacco bastards hook us young and poison us. I've been kickin the dust of the earth 37 years and have smoked about a pk a day for the last 21 of em. Quit a month two seperate times and as I sit here there is a butt burnin between the fingers of my left hand.

I'm looking forward to seeing the tabacco co's crawl around on their bellies the way smokers do because of addiction, disease, high taxes, federal/state/local legislation.

I should know in about a week~ish if med marijuana will be legal here in NY. If it becomes legal I will obtain a Rx, a lic to grow and sell to the dispensaries various products.


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                                               Look at the flowers

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