AWMA urges grassroots effort to defeat FDA tobacco regulation and SCHIP..

August 19, 2008 - Members of the American Wholesale and Marketers Association (AWMA) are urged to send letters to congressional lawmakers regarding legislation that will hurt their industry and adversely impact business in their districts and states.

The first is legislation to provide Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory authority over tobacco. HR 1108, the House version of legislation to provide broad regulatory authority over tobacco products to the FDA, has already been approved by that body. In the Senate, similar legislation – S. 625 – has already been approved by the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and is awaiting floor consideration.

Sen. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., has promised to drag out debate, offer amendments, and do whatever he can to ensure “a full and lengthy debate and lengthy amendment process,” should the bill (HR 1108) come to the floor. Burr, when questioned about the reasons for his opposition to the bill. “I haven’t opposed regulation of tobacco, I’ve just opposed putting it at the FDA,” he added. (Tar Heel Senator Vows to Block Tobacco Regulation Bill by Drew Armstrong, CQ TODAY – REGULATORY POLICY, 8/14/2008.)

AWMA has also learned that Congress may be poised to again consider legislation in early Fall that would increase the Federal Excise Tax (FET) on tobacco to finance a significant expansion of the children’s health insurance program known as SCHIP. Say NO to Higher Cigarette Taxes! - sponsored by Philip Morris USA.

Reference: AWMA Urges Grassroots Effort to Combat FDA and Tobacco Legislation
SCHIP Bill with FET Increase on Tobacco under Consideration Again
AWMA Update, 8/2008.

Many more news briefs on both pieces of legislation - do a random search. Click on image to enlarge..