Senate approves change in tobacco regulation

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The U.S. Senate approved legislation Thursday to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate the content and advertising of tobacco products.

The bill now heads back to the House of Representatives, which earlier passed a similar but not identical bill.

Richmond-based Altria Group, whose Philip Morris USA subsidiary is the largest cigarette manufacturer in the country, has supported FDA regulation of tobacco although many of its competitors have not. In a press release, the company said it had some reservations about specific parts of the bill but did not elaborate.

The new regulations would allow the FDA to set standards for tobacco products and restrict marketing. The FDA would also have the power to approve new products. It would not be allowed to ban the use of nicotine in cigarettes. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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