Bill Seeks to Put Tobacco Under Regulation of FDA


A bill introduced in the House on Monday would expand federal regulation of cigarette sales and move the tobacco industry under the regulatory ambit of the Food and Drug Administration.

Reps. Mike Synar (D-Okla.) and Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced the bill. Called the Fairness in Tobacco and Nicotine Regulation Act of 1993, it would give the FDA full responsibility for regulating the manufacture, sale, labeling and advertising of tobacco products--now overseen by agencies ranging from the Federal Trade Commission to the Department of Health and Human Services.

“As we move closer and closer toward reforming our country’s health care system, it is clear the public is demanding a bold, innovative departure from business as usual,” Synar told a news conference at the Capitol.


The bill would also ban sale of cigarettes to people under 18 and would require the chemical additives in tobacco to be listed on packaging. Costs of the regulation would be borne by the industry.

Synar cited estimates that the nation spends $65 billion a year on smoking-related conditions and said the bill would “bring this nation’s leading cause of death and disability in line with the way other legal products are regulated.”