Senate OKs Tough New Tobacco Regulations

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 11, 2009 2:41 PM CDT
The FDA is getting broad new powers over tobacco.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Congress struck the US government's strongest anti-smoking blow in decades today 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 surgeon general's warning 45 years ago that tobacco causes cancer, gives the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate the content, marketing, and advertising of cigarettes and other tobacco products. The measure now goes back to the House, which is expected to quickly send it to President Obama, who has pledged to sign it.