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Senate Passes FDA Bill

David Savona
Posted: June 11, 2009

The tobacco industry moved closer to FDA control today when the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would give the Food and Drug Administration control over how tobacco products are made and sold. The legislation, similar to a bill passed by the House of Representatives in April, was approved in a 79 to 17 vote.

The bill survived a challenge earlier this week from North Carolina's senators. According to the Associated Press, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) argued that the FDA was the wrong agency for the job, and presented an alternative bill that was defeated.

The plan will next go before President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign the bill into law.

The measure will have a dramatic impact on the cigarette industry, banning all flavored cigarettes save for menthol, for example, but cigars would not be affected in the short term, if at all.

For more on this story, see Tuesday's Cigar Insider.

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