Senate passes bill allowing FDA to regulate tobacco industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Amy Klobuchar joined an overwhelming majority of the Senate today in passing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Act, which institutes unprecedented regulation over the tobacco industry.

The bipartisan measure, approved by 79-17, would allow the Food and Drug Administration to ban the most harmful chemicals in tobacco products and reduce the amount of nicotine.  The legislation also requires the tobacco industry to disclose ingredients, expand the size of warning labels and include images of the health effects of tobacco.

The bill is similar to a version that passed in the House last month and has the support of President Obama — himself a smoker who has struggled to quit.

The House, which passed its version 298-112, has indicated it will vote on the Senate version next week.

At the time, Democratic Reps. Tim Walz, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison and Jim Oberstar voted for the bill, along with Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen. Republican Reps. John Kline and Michele Bachmann voted against the measure, along with Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson.

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