The House today agreed to give the FDA broad new powers over tobacco products, the New York Times reports. The House voted 298-to-112 to pass the bill, but the real fight will come in the Senate, where one North Carolina Republican has already threatened a filibuster. Ted Kennedy plans to introduce the measure this month. Among other things, it allows the FDA to clamp down on advertising and force manufacturers to reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes.
“We’ve come to what I hope will be an historic occasion, and that is finally doing something about the harm that tobacco does to thousands and thousands of Americans who die each year, and stopping the attempt to get our children to smoke,” said Harry Waxman, a main sponsor of the legislation. President Obama supports the bill.