June 11th, 2009
04:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Senate passes bill increasing FDA power to regulate tobacco

 A bill that increases the power of the federal Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products cleared the Senate on Thursday.
A bill that increases the power of the federal Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products cleared the Senate on Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A bill that increases the power of the federal Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products cleared the Senate on Thursday.

The Senate voted 79-17 for the measure, which is similar to a bill already passed by the House of Representatives.

An aide to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland said the chamber will vote Friday on accepting the Senate bill, which would send the measure to President Barack Obama for his signature.

Most Senate opposition came from tobacco-producing states including Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. In a break from
tradition, the two senators from Virginia - another tobacco state - supported the measure, indicating a moderate shift in the state's politics.


The tobacco bill would allow the FDA to ban some tobacco products, limit the amount of nicotine in tobacco products and enlarge warning labels.

A White House statement quoted Obama as calling the measure historic for "giving the scientists and medical experts at the FDA the power to take sensible steps that will reduce tobacco's harmful effects and prevent tobacco companies from marketing their products to children."

The statement said Obama looks forward to signing the bill.

– CNN's Deirdre Walsh contributed to this story


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Paul from Phoenix

    @Sniffit

    Anyone watching 90210 should be put away for life.

    June 11, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Kansan

    Face it...Cigarette companies are Death Dealers, PERIOD. Their product has absolutely zero positive benefits. It polutes the air, polutes the smokers lungs and polutes everyone elses lungs around the smoker, not to mention that the world is the smokers ash tray so the earth is plouted too with all the butts they feel is their right to throw anywhere they please.

    Did I forget to mention smokers stink. The oder alone is enough to set off my athsma, so I can't even get on an elevator 5 minutes after a smoker has gotten off.

    The ONLY reason this garbage has remained legal is because drug companies & hospitals are making a killing off of cancer patients.

    I can not wait to it's banned everywhere.

    Now that the FDA might be looking into tobacco, perhaps they'll make the manufactures start removing all the poisons out of their product that the intentionally put in to keep smokers heavily addicted to their death sticks.

    June 11, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Jason

    Richard Burr needs to be voted out of office in NC. He actually opposed this bill because he didn't think the FDA has the right to regulate something that affects our health. ??? He's an idiot.

    June 11, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. RGR

    This is another sign of government control. Don't get me wrong I prefer that people don't smoke. Are they going to target Alcohol, speed driving, what you eat, OK! you thing this is absurd – Yes I did though that the we whare a country of laws; well did you ever though that the government (WH), would brake all contract laws so the union get ahead of the Prime Bond Holders? and the unions with out given anything and whith out any moneys they now own large chucks of corporations. What about the firing of the GM CEO, etc.

    June 11, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. phoenix86

    Interesting that at the same time that they want to increase legislation on tobacco they are under pressure to legalize pot. The House, Senate and administration are collecitve fools.

    June 11, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. Dayahka

    Good Lord! I hope this bill is designed to allow the control of all the vile stuff they put into ordinary tobacco–and not to raise taxes, which were raised just last month by around 100%.

    Why don't these turkeys in the Congress vote to control the banks, vote to control the money supply, vote to stop the wars, vote to legalize Marijuana, vote to stop development, vote to clean up the oceans, vote to clean up landfills, vote to make composting toilets mandatory throughout the land thus stopping a gigantic waste of water, vote to close down big pharma, vote to control doctor salaries, vote to limit executive pay?

    June 11, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    They want to regulate the tobacco companies but they don't give a rats behind about the insurance companies. I guess it ok for them to rip off the consumers.

    June 11, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. bozo bama

    The 1930's revisited...if you forget the past, beware the future. This regime marches on.

    June 11, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    @ Paul from Phoenix, who said "anyone watching 90210 should be put away for life"

    Awww c'mon...the remote was all the way over on the other couch!

    June 11, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  10. Sarge in Florida

    I guess it's ok to regulate the tobacco companies but they give a rats behind about the insurance companies ripping off people...

    June 11, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. J.P.

    Hey, here's a newsflash... "smoking is bad for you." Duh.
    Did we really need an agency dedicated to telling us smoking is bad for us?

    Yes, having a bloated, overmanned government agency "oversee" something we all KNOW is unhealthy... yep, THAT sure will stop those young people from smoking. Because if there is one thing that young people respect it is nagging agencies acting in loco parentis.

    Look, I don't smoke, nor do I like to be around smoke period. But I think this is dumb beyond words. If you don't know sucking smoke into your lungs is bad, you're a moron and no amoung of nanny-state intervention to save-you-from-yourself will make you any less of a moron.

    GOVERNMENT FAIL.

    June 11, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    @ phoenix86, who said "Interesting that at the same time that they want to increase legislation on tobacco they are under pressure to legalize pot."

    They should both be legal for the same reasons. Prohibition didn't work. Banning tobacco products wouldn't work. Banning pot DOES NOT WORK. MIght as well fudn our government with them. This is a particularly salient point with regards to pot...seeing as how we not only would be converting pot into a marketable, taxable commodity that generates revenue for states, but we would also be able to reduce the expense of our crazy wasteful war on drugs and the 100% wasteful spending on excessive prison sentences for petty weed offenders who get nailed with 10 years so some puffed-up blowhard politician can claim he's "tough on crime."

    June 11, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. Susan

    donttreadonme-
    Thank you for you response about my dad and son. Thank God the city I live in got smart and outlawed smoking in restaurants. I can actually take my son out to dinner without worrying about him having an allergic response. It was just very unfortunate my father did not have a chance to live long enough to see what second hand smoke does to my son- maybe that would have given him the strength to quit.

    June 11, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. Ted

    That is one piece of policy nearly everyone can like. Go Obama, go senators on both sides of the aisle who voted for this!

    June 11, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  15. James, Phoenix AZ

    I've never smoked a day in my life. If people want to destroy their health by smoking, then people like me should not have to pay for their poor lifestyle choices.

    June 11, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. David

    All parties are happy with this bill because the nicotine limit placed on a pack of cigarettes will only mean the drug addicts who are addicted to nicotine, will just spend more money on more packs of cigarettes, which helps the cigarette companies who fund the republicans directly.

    States across the board increasing taxes on cigarettes $1 or more to help cover lost revenue and medical expenses of smokers. So the more cigarettes 'addicts' buy the better.

    This just points out how stupid it is to start smoking or continue smoking cigarettes in the first place.

    June 11, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  17. Hans Brecker RI

    Gotta love the dividends!!

    June 11, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. RGR

    I guess now we will have a a Tabaco czar! More goverment waist

    June 11, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  19. Rick McKinney, Texas

    More Power More Government

    I hate this Nobama

    June 11, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. Steven

    I am from Kentucky, a poverty stricken area, that most of its money comes from tobacco sales. This is America, and I think if people choose to smoke, its there choice. I smoke, and i am fine. Its my body. If you approve of this message folks, e-mail me back. If not, that is your opinion. This is the U.S.A.! I am a U.S. ARMY VET. And I am glad that we live in a free country. God Bless America!

    June 11, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  21. Mark from Fl

    To Rick McKinney, Texas,

    YOU and your dum, stupid arse – this is the senate and NOT the President or his administration...

    You texas cowboys are the ones who were representing the country for sooooooooooooooooo long and that's why we are where are today...

    mourons!!!

    June 11, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  22. makesUwonder

    I don't smoke, don't care for the smell of cigarette smoke, and I see this as the government (Obama's government) wanting to control our lives on one more issue.

    Is Obama still smoking these days?
    ------------------------------

    Paul from Phoenix...................I couldn't agree with you more on your post. Pvt. Long, just 23 years of age deserved to be noticed more than the liberal media choose to do so. The killer of Pvt. Long stated, "kill as many people in the Army as he could." If there is a good side to this very sad and ignored story, it's that Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, age 18, was only wounded. It's such a shame that the liberal media doesn't honor our military HERO'S like they should. Actually, it's a shame that the far left liberals don't honor our HERO'S like they should.

    June 11, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  23. donttreadonme

    He was motivated by the anti-war libs who spout off that our country is killing and torturing innocent Muslims. The same ones who comment here about how evil Israel is and how justified the Palestinian terrorist are. There are crazies in both parties but you are too brain washed to see this.

    Smoke another bowl my friend.

    June 11, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  24. Harry

    "David June 11th, 2009 5:33 pm ET

    All parties are happy with this bill because the nicotine limit placed on a pack of cigarettes will only mean the drug addicts who are addicted to nicotine, will just spend more money on more packs of cigarettes, which helps the cigarette companies who fund the republicans directly.

    States across the board increasing taxes on cigarettes $1 or more to help cover lost revenue and medical expenses of smokers. So the more cigarettes 'addicts' buy the better.

    This just points out how stupid it is to start smoking or continue smoking cigarettes in the first place."

    You're what is wrong with America.. I consider myself a independent leaning liberal but when the government things its OK to tax a group of citizens because of a lifestyle choice is how we will slowly but surely erase everything the founders stood for... Why doesn't the government increase the taxes on McDonalds and candy because i assure you more people become sicker in their lives because of poor diet than they do because of smoking.

    June 11, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. donttreadonme

    Smoking pot kills your brain and ruins your ability reason. Explains many of the liberal comments we read on here everyday.

    June 11, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
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