Senate Passes Smoking Regulation Bill

These British cigarette warnings, highly intense and seemingly obvious though they may be, may soon become reality in the United States with the June 11 passage of the FDA Tobacco Regulation Bill by the Senate. Menthol cigarettes, the cigarette companies' ability to advertise particular brands as "lite" or "mild," and the release of future altered tobacco products may also be in danger. The Act confers unprecedented broad, sweeping power upon the Federal Drug Administration to regulate the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products for the purpose of protecting American youth.

Cigarette companies are expected to file suit to contest the Act's passage, after President Obama signs it, on grounds that its advertising restrictions and specifications constitute a barrier to free speech.

From the standpoint of personal liberty, the issue is extremely divisive, with many decrying the bill for overreaching and others, including Senator Ted Kennedy, hailing its passage as proof that "miracles still happen" in Washington, D.C.  For specifics on the Bill's contents, visit Project Vote Smart.