President Barack Obama cited his own long struggle to quit the cigarettes he took up as a teenager as he signed the strongest-ever US anti-smoking bill today and praised it for providing needed protections for future generations. "It is a law that will save American lives," Obama said. "The decades-long effort to protect our children from the harmful effects of smoking has finally emerged victorious."
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act allows the Food and Drug Administration to lower the amount of nicotine in tobacco products, ban candy flavorings that appeal to kids and block misleading labels such "low tar" and "light." Tobacco companies also will be required to cover their cartons with large graphic warnings. Opponents say the FDA had proved through a series of food-safety failures that it was not up to the job of regulation. (Read more tobacco stories.)