The House of Representatives passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act Thursday by a vote of 298 to 112.
The legislation gives 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 provide FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and give it authority to require changes in current and future tobacco products to protect public health, such as the reduction or elimination of harmful ingredients, additives and constituents, including menthol.
The new tobacco program will be funded entirely through user fees on tobacco product manufacturers.
FDA will also have the authority to prevent marketing and sales of tobacco to kids.
This legislation will also empower FDA to prevent tobacco companies from making false and misleading claims about their products and to require that all product claims be based on scientific evidence.
Further, the legislation will reinstate FDA's 1996 rule aimed at reducing underage smoking, which includes provisions that will 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 will also prohibit the use of misleading terms such as light, low-tar, and mild and require larger, more specific health warnings.
Finally, the bill provides FDA access to data about tobacco product ingredients that can be used in designing new product standards and new disclosure requirements.
This is truly a historic day in the fight against tobacco, and I am proud that we have taken such decisive action, said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman.
Today we have moved to place the regulation of tobacco under FDA in order to protect the public health, and now we all can breathe a little easier.
Waxman added he has every hope for firm and certain action by the Senate to pass this legislation so we can at long last send it to the president and better protect the American people from tobacco with the full force of our public health laws.
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