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Bill Giving FDA Authority Over Tobacco on Way to President

House of Representatives rapidly endorses Senate's version of bill passed late Thursday

FRIDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Legislation giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory control over tobacco products is headed to the White House for President Obama's signature, as health organizations continue to applaud the action.

Senators voted 79 to 17 in favor of the bill on June 11, with the House of Representatives rapidly endorsing the measure today.

The newly passed legislation requires tobacco makers to list their products' contents, allows the FDA to set levels for nicotine and other cigarette ingredients, and requires the agency to approve new tobacco products similar to the way it does with drugs and medical devices. In addition, it would give the FDA the authority to require stronger warnings on cigarette packaging.

"Passage of this historic legislation by both the House and Senate is a victory for public health over Big Tobacco," said Nancy Nielsen, M.D., president of the American Medical Association. "The actions resulting from this landmark legislation may make people think twice before picking up a cigarette. The sad truth is that tobacco-related deaths are the number one preventable cause of death in the United States."

AMA Press Release
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