• Congress Burns the Tobacco Industry Down to the Filter

    Excellent news, health-conscious consumers: yesterday the Senate passed sweeping legislation to control the tobacco industry's products, marketing and packaging…

    The bill would allow the FDA to require changes to nicotine yields and other chemicals in cigarettes and other tobacco products, although it could not ban nicotine. It would require tobacco companies to provide detailed lists of ingredients and any changes in those ingredients.

    The bill would ban the use of expressions such as "light" and "mild" that might mislead people into thinking there was less health risk in the product.

    The FDA also would have the power to restrict tobacco marketing; require pre-market approval of all new tobacco products; ban candied or flavored tobacco products that anti-smoking groups see as a way to entice young people into smoking; limit ads in publications with significant teen readership; and impose stronger warning labels on cigarette packages.

    Sure, it sounds like a lot of regulation, but that's something I can live with if it makes Americans safer, healthier and better informed about risk.

    In fact, I think I'll toast the Senate's prudent move with a Long Island iced tea or four. Then it'll be time to polish off this delicious Crisco-bacon-Adderall omelet and drive the kids to school.

    Tags: House of Representatives, Senate, Smoking


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