Senate Poised to Pass Tough New Tobacco Law

Bill will give FDA authority to regulate marketing, content of tobacco products
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2009 2:54 AM CDT
A health warning will take up 50% of cigarette packets under the federal tobacco regulation bill.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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(Newser) – The Senate is expected this week to pass sweeping new legislation to regulate tobacco, reports USA Today. The bill, which may go to a vote as soon as today, gives the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco and will require larger health warnings on packets, end the use of claims like "light" and "mild" for cigarettes, and further restrict advertising.

The House approved a similar bill in April, and President Obama has said he will sign it when it reaches his desk. The legislation's backers believe that if it is applied properly, it could save millions of lives. "It's historic in that we're finally saying tobacco needs to be regulated," said Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois. "It breaks my heart it took us 20 years."