Senator Kennedy introduces legislation for FDA to regulate tobacco..

May 6, 2009 - Tuesday night (May 5, 2009) Sen. Edward Kennedy introduced legislation similar to a bill already passed by the House that gives the federal government the power to regulate tobacco products.

Kennedy’s bill, Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, sets the stage for Senate action on tobacco legislation this month or in June. The measure is expected to pass with bipartisan support. Kennedy, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has scheduled a panel hearing for next Tuesday to consider his bill.

The House last month overwhelmingly passed a bill, sponsored by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., giving the federal Food and Drug Administration authority over how tobacco products are made, advertised and sold.

President Barack Obama supports FDA regulation of tobacco.

If there are any differences between the Waxman and Kennedy bills, they would be worked out in a House-Senate conference committee.

Reference: Tobacco-regulation bill introduced in Senate by James R. Carroll, Louisville Courier-Journal, 5/6/2009.