FDA Regulation of Tobacco Opposed

Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina is opposing a bill to place the tobacco industry under the jurisdiction of the FDA. He cites the fact that the bill would make it harder to sell reduced-risk tobacco products.

The harm caused by cigarettes comes largely from the smoke and only in small part from the nicotine. Smokeless tobacco provides the same amount of nicotine that tobacco users crave, without the harmful smoke (although smokeless tobacco does pose some increased risk of oral cancer).

The FDA regulation bill would expand regulation of smokeless tobacco and also restrict the sale of reduced-risk tobacco products.

The bill’s sponsors call it the “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.” But small tobacco companies call it the “Philip Morris monopoly bill,” arguing that it would further entrench the dominance of the nation’s largest tobacco company, Philip Morris.