Congress Passes Bill Allowing the FDA to Regulate Tobacco

Main provisions of legislation giving the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate the production and marketing of tobacco products:

–Creates a tobacco control center within the FDA and gives the FDA authority to regulate the content, marketing and sale of tobacco products to protect public health.

–Requires tobacco companies and importers to reveal all product ingredients and seek FDA approval for any new tobacco products.

–Allows the FDA to change tobacco product content to protect the public health.

–Bans the use of flavors, including candies and fruit flavors, in tobacco products.

–Aims to prevent sales to minor by requiring direct, face-to-face transactions between retailer and consumers. Limits advertising that could attract young smokers.

–Strengthens warning labels.

–Bars the use of expressions such as "light, "mild" or "low" that give the impression that a tobacco product poses less of a health risk.

–Establishes user fees on tobacco companies to pay for the new regulations.

–Prevents the FDA from banning nicotine or tobacco products.

The House moved quickly Friday to pass the Senate’s tobacco bill and send it to the White House, where President Obama promised to sign it.

Mr. Obama, who himself has struggled to quit smoking, said the measure would “protect our kids and improve our public health.” Appearing in the Rose Garden just moments after the House vote, he said the tobacco legislation was “a bill that truly defines changes in Washington” and one that “changes the way Washington works and who it works for.”