Senate advances bill to regulate tobacco

June 2, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Senate has agreed to take up legislation giving the government some controls over the tobacco industry, increasing chances that a long-sought goal of anti-smoking advocates will finally be realized. The 84-11 Senate vote to consider the bill came a month after the House overwhelmingly passed a similar measure giving the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Under the measure, the FDA could restrict tobacco marketing, order changes to the ingredients in tobacco products and require more prominent health warnings. It could not ban cigarettes and other tobacco products.

The Senate could hold a final vote on the bill by the end of the week, sending it back to the House for final approval. President Barack Obama, unlike his predecessor George W. Bush, supports the legislation.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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