House to Vote on FDA Regulation of Tobacco..

July 29, 2008 -
U.S. House of Representatives could vote as early as Wednesday on bill for the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate tobacco.

Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt now says the White House opposes the legislation because tobacco regulation would overburden the FDA and jeopardize international trade agreements by banning some imported cigarettes, e.g., clove cigarettes, which are mainly imported from Indonesia.

The other day in a letter Leavitt wrote that giving a public health agency like the FDA jurisdiction over tobacco products would send the wrong message. "Unlike the medical products FDA regulates, tobacco products cannot be made safe, and there is no medically established public health benefit associated with tobacco," he wrote. "Adding tobacco to FDA's regulatory responsibilities could also leave the public with the misperception that tobacco products are safe, or at least safer, with the FDA regulating them."
Bush administration opposes legislation to give FDA authority to regulate tobacco products..

Reference: House to Vote on FDA Regulation of Tobacco by Alicia Mundy, The Wall Street Journal, 7/29/2008.