Back in June we noted that the FDA was about to get a lot more say over the tobacco industry if the Senate approved a new bill. Well they did, and so yesterday the FDA flexed its new muscles by banning fruit, herb, spice, and candy flavorings from cigarettes. That’s right: clove cigarettes were just banned by the FDA, which is bad news for gothy teens and great news for everyone else.
The Senate has approved FDA regulation of tobacco. No more “low tar” labels or flavored tobacco, and the FDA will now need to know and approve all ingredients in tobacco products. It is likely to pass the House, and President Obama plans to sign the bill. [MSNBC] (Thanks, Greg!)
The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee voted 13-8 to empower the FDA to regulate tobacco products. States and municipalities have spent years shoving cigarettes out of the public domain, but the FDA would be able to control cigarette advertising, mandate bigger, European-style warning labels, and regulate nicotine content. Only Congress has the power to ban cigarettes outright. From the Boston Globe:
Yesterday’s slim majority however, came as Republican-sponsored amendments loom that could gut the bill’s main intent.