House of Representatives Passes Important Tobacco Legislation
The House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday, April 2, that would authorize the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the advertising and sale of tobacco products in the United States. According to CNN, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act passed by a vote of 298-112. The bill, which now moves to the Senate for additional consideration, would allow the FDA to restrict the marketing of tobacco and ban candy-flavored cigarettes.
It would also empower the agency to regulate nicotine and other ingredient levels, as well as force greater disclosure of the contents of tobacco products. Under this proposed legislation, the FDA could require posting of larger warning labels on cigarette cartons and bar tobacco companies from running ads implying that "mild" or "low-tar" cigarettes are less harmful.
"This legislation is a major victory for those of us who prize the health of this nation over the profits of tobacco companies," J. Randall Curtis, incoming head of the American Thoracic Society, wrote in a statement. "We applaud the House for passing the bill and hope that the Senate will move it through quickly so that President Obama can sign it into law as he has already indicated he would. Swift action could prevent tens of thousands of future deaths."
For generations, smoking has been one of the greatest potential threats to the health of Americans. It may cause or exacerbate several of the debilitating conditions that physical therapists see among their patient populations. Although the percentage of American smokers has decreased in recent decades, how great a problem do you believe that smoking remains in this country and what is your reaction to this proposed legislation?