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Family Smoking Prevention And Tobacco Control Act Passes Senate Committee


On April 2, 2009, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was passed by the House of Representatives. This past week, the act was passed out of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions by a vote of 15 to 8. The bill is meant to help prevent children from taking up smoking.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act is a piece of legislation which will grant the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate the advertising, marketing, and manufacturing of tobacco products in order to protect the public health. It will allow the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The program which will require the FDA to protect the public health from harmful ingredients and additives to cigarettes such nicotine and menthol is to be funded entirely through user fees on tobacco product manufacturers.

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The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act is meant to reinstate FDA’s 1996 rule aimed at reducing underage smoking. This would ban outdoor advertising of tobacco within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds, ban all remaining tobacco-brand sponsorships of sports and entertainment events, and restrict vending machines to adult-only facilities.

The legislation is also meant to clear the air by prohibiting the use of misleading terms such as “light,” “low-tar,” and “mild” with stricter, more specific health warnings.

The bill text and a bill summary are available online at www.energycommerce.house.gov.

Senator Chris Dodd
Representative Henry Waxman