House Bill Looms for FDA Control of Tobacco

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House Bill Looms for FDA Control of Tobacco

WASHINGTON -- Legislation to put tobacco under the control of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may come to light in Congress as early as Wednesday, as the House Committee on Energy and Commerce is expected to vote on such legislation that day, according to a report in The New York Times that cited spokeswoman, Karen Lightfoot.

The bill may be passed along to the president early this year, according to the report. President Obama supports the legislation, while former President George W. Bush opposed it.

Both majorities in the House and Senate co-sponsored a virtually identical bill last year, led by Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, chairman of the House committee, and Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the newspaper reported.

The legislation would set up a new office in the FDA focused on tobacco and financed by industry fees, the report stated. It would allow further restraints on sales and marketing to youth, including stronger warning labels with graphic depictions.

Both supporters and opponents of the legislation have waited months to learn when the new Democratic Congress would bring up FDA legislation, according to the report.