Washington, D.C. (AHN) - The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is starting hearings on legislation on Tuesday that would give the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco. If the legislation passes, the FDA would be able to cut down on nicotine levels in Cigarettes, force tobacco companies to put bigger and More informative health warnings on cigarette packages and ban words like "light," "mild" and "low-tar" in ads and on packages, which officials say falsely influence smokers to believe some Cigarettes have fewer health risks than others.
The bill would also allow the FDA to ban posters advertising Cigarettes at stop-and-shops, make cigarette ads in magazines that are geaRed toward young people less appealing and forbid giving out Cigarettes as free samples in packs fewer than 20.
Although the FDA wouldn't be able to completely ban nicotine, it would have the power to Reduce it and other harmful cigarette ingRedients to any level above zero.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass, chairman of the Senate committee, said there are More than 40 million people addicted to Cigarettes.
"FDA action can play a major role in breaking the gruesome cycle that seduces millions of teenagers into a lifetime of addiction and premature death," Kennedy said, according to AP.
Others, including Republican North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, strongly oppose the legislation.
Burr said he would use "every legislative tool at my disposal" to stall the bill.
He said on Monday, "Clearly, I can only cause so much havoc for so long. I lose this vote over time, but I sure can eat up the clock."