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FDA Regulation: Harmful to Smokers' Health?

Congress is on the verge of passing a bill that would subject tobacco products to FDA regulation. The FDA regulation bill would make it harder to market smokeless tobacco products to smokers, even though thousands of lives would be saved if smokers were to switch from cigarettes to reduced-risk tobacco products like smokeless tobacco. Cigarettes are much more dangerous, and more likely to cause cancer, than smokeless tobacco. The FDA regulation bill's potential adverse effect on health has drawn criticism from Senator Burr, an editorial in the Washington Times, and public-interest groups. In other news, Congress is attempting to finance an expansion of government-funded children's health insurance partly by increasing the tax on cigars by 20,000 percent to $9.95 per cigar. As Citizens Against Government Waste points out, such draconian increases may result in smuggling, tax evasion, and illegal sales. R.J. Reynolds claims that increasing cigarette taxes generally is a bad idea, since most smokers are people with modest incomes, incomes lower than many of the families that would be eligible to receive government-financed children's health insurance financed by tobacco taxes.