Obama Signs FDA Bill into Law


President Obama has signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which had already passed in both the House and the Senate, at an event at the Rose Garden.


The new law will give the FDA the power to regulate tobacco.


President Obama, who started smoking as a teenager and has struggled to quit, had long indicated that he planned to sign the bill when it reached his desk.


Earlier in June, the bill passed in the Senate 79 to 1, with Democratic Senator Kay Hagen of North Carolina voting against it. The House approved the bill by 307 to 97 just one day later.


The FDA will not be able to eliminate nicotine in cigarettes, but can lessen the amount used. The bill also will put massive restrictions on the way tobacco can be advertised and marketed. Outdoor tobacco advertising will not be allowed within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds, along with all brand sponsorship of sports and entertainment events. Ads will be limited to black-and-white text only in many publications, on billboards and at many stores. Point-of-sale advertising will be limited to adults-only facilities. Cigarette vending machines will only be allowed in locations restricted to adults. Retailers who sell to minors will be subject to federal enforcement and penalties. The bill also will ban candy flavorings, or any herb or spices, such as strawberry, orange, clove or cinnamon, and will block labels such “low tar” and “light.” Larger and more specific health warnings will now appear on the top third of the front and back of tobacco packages and the FDA will have the power to require graphic warning labels that cover half of the front and back.





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