Pelosi on House Passage of Bill Granting FDA Authority to Regulate Tobacco
Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on the House's passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which will provide the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with authority to regulate tobacco products. The bill passed by a vote of 298 to 112.
"Every day, Americans benefit from the oversight the FDA provides on the foods we eat and the medicines we take. Despite the fact that tobacco is one of the deadliest products in America, the FDA has no authority to regulate it. That is just not right.
"Incredibly, tobacco is exempt from standards that apply to a can of soda or a box of pasta. Tobacco makers are exempt from critical and basic consumer protections, such as ingredient disclosure, product testing, and restrictions on marketing their dangerous and addictive product to children.
"By granting the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products, we will protect public health, prevent disease, and stop tobacco companies from hooking America's children on their deadly product. This legislation also requires detailed disclosure of tobacco product ingredients, and restricts tobacco marketing and sales to youth, among other things. And this legislation does all of this in a fiscally responsible way funding FDA tobacco activity through a user fee on tobacco manufacturers.
"Every day, approximately 3,500 young people try a cigarette for the first time, and another 1,000 become addicted and become new, regular smokers. One-third of these children will eventually die prematurely because of tobacco. We must do all that we can to prevent premature death from smoking. I urge the Senate to pass this legislation without delay and send to President Obama for his signature into law."