U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce - legislation to regulate tobacco,..

February 27, 2009 - Legislation to put tobacco under control of the Food and Drug Administration will surface in the U.S. Congress next Wednesday, March 4, 2009 and may be passed along to the president early this year. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce chaired by Henry Waxman is expected to vote on the legislation on Wednesday, a spokeswoman, Karen Lightfoot, said Friday, 2/27/2009.

The legislation would set up a new office in the F.D.A., financed by industry fees, to focus on tobacco. It would allow further restraints on sales and marketing to young people, including stronger warning labels with graphic depictions of smoking-related illnesses.

The present bill should be carefully reviewed and revised where necessary to produce the best piece of legislation. Regulation of the tobacco industry is absolutely necessary but let's do it RIGHT this time. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (TFK) worked very closely with Philip Morris USA (PM), to produce this legislation. You can say the Campaign TFK got in bed with the enemy. Senator Michael B. Enzi (R-WY) said it best, "Poison peddlers shouldn’t get to decide how we as responsible legislators fight the war against their deadly products."

Matthew L. Myers of TFK has even said, “The election of Barack Obama changes everything.” We worry that the legislation will be flawed because the biggest player in the tobacco industry - Altria - Philip Morris USA (PM) has been directly involved in writing the bill. Mike Szymanczyk now the CEO of Altria, Inc. has told investors they were directly involved in the process of preparing the bill. (Remarks, Investor Presentation, 3/11/2008)

Prior to approval of this legislation PM is already working to circumvent the law. Citi bank tells shareholders that if the FDA begins to regulate the tobacco industry, it would make little difference. Many concessions have been granted to get tobacco companies to buy into this legislation weakening the bill even further. UST Inc. (now owned by Altria Group, Inc, the parent of PM), the biggest U.S. maker of smokeless tobacco products and the North American unit of Swedish Match AB which also sells smokeless tobacco announced they would support the bill. The bill was amended to give smokeless companies the ability to give away free samples to adults under limited circumstances which hadn't been allowed in earlier versions of the bill.

Dr. Joel L. Nitzkin, chairman of the tobacco control task force of the American Association of Public Health Physicians, criticized the compromise. “This bill will be worse than no bill at all,” he said in a phone interview. (FDA tobacco regulation - bill distorted in current form...

Archive of Supporting Documentation: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids - Need for FDA Regulation of Tobacco..; February 2009 - legislation FDA to regulate tobacco..; FDA Regulation Likely for Tobacco - Let's Do It RIGHT..; President--Elect Barack Obama and Tobacco..; Revise Senate's Version FDA Tobacco Regulation Bill..; FDA tobacco regulation - bill distorted in current form..; AWMA urges grassroots effort to defeat FDA tobacco regulation and SCHIP.."; More - Lorillard-Newport - FDA proposed tobacco regulation..; FDA Tobacco Regulation Bill Overwhelmingly Passed U.S. House..; House to Vote on FDA Regulation of Tobacco..; Bush administration opposes legislation to give FDA authority to regulate tobacco products...; With U.S. FDA tobacco regulations on the horizon Altria already preparing to circumvent the law..; Public health experts are questioning why menthol flavoring in cigarettes, received special protection as Congress tries to regulate tobacco..; Lorillard Tobacco opposes US FDA bill to regulate tobacco..; FDA regulation moves a step closer..; On Tuesday April 1, 1970 President Richard Nixon signed a measure banning cigarette advertising on radio and television, to take effect in January 1,..; FDA regulatory control tobacco bill is voted forward..; Reject Proposed Legislation That Would Add Responsibility For Tobacco Regulation to the FDA..; FDA Head: 'No' to Tobacco Cigarettes too "inherently dangerous" to regulate; would "undermine mission."; Federal tobacco regulation backed...; On July 18, 2007, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee postponed a vote on the bill - which would for the first time allow...

Reference: House Bill Expected on F.D.A. Control of Tobaccoby DUFF WILSON, New York Times, 2/27/2009.

Image, Senator Edward M. Kennedy the sponsor of bill and Senator Senator Michael B. Enzi who has been against PM involved with writing this bill.



March 3, 2009 at 12:04 AM

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