Friday, June 12, 2009

FDA bill passes House, President will sign

Just a day after the Senate overwhelmingly approved a sweeping reform for tobacco regulation, the House of Representatives passed the Senate's version. With the White House firmly behind the measure, it should become law within days.

The vote, as it was in the House the first time, and in the Senate yesterday, was overwhelming: 307-97. Check out our blog post on yesterday's vote for more information on the bill.

President Obama has said he will sign the measure; Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday that her agency is looking forward to implementing the bill.

Perspective: Legislation to allow the FDA to regulate tobacco was first introduced in 1996. Clinton was finishing his first term. Tobacco companies still advertised during Saturday morning cartoons, sponsored youth activities, and handed out free samples. California's smoking ban was still in the works. A smoke-free Wisconsin was pipe-dream.

Regulation's been a long time coming.

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