Senate Panel Delays Action On Anti-Smoking Bill

Wednesday, July 18th 2007, 7:14 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A Senate committee on Wednesday postponed consideration of a bill that would put tobacco under Food and Drug Administration regulation despite objections that it's a misguided effort to reduce the dangers of smoking.

The bill, matched by identical House legislation, would give the FDA the same authority over cigarettes and other tobacco products that the regulatory agency now has over drugs, food, medical devices and other consumer products.

The bill has broad bipartisan support. It had been scheduled to be considered Wednesday in the Senate Health Committee, but the vote was postponed to July 25 because of the Senate's all-night debate on the war in Iraq.

The full Senate also was expected to pass the measure, even though some lawmakers, including Republican members of the committee, have said that they view any effort to create a safer cigarette an impossible task.

Smoking now kills more than 400,000 people a year. It accounts for nearly one in five deaths in the United States.