The U.S. Senate just passed a bill to give the Food and Drug Administration regulatory power over tobacco products marketed in the U.S. Among the innovations expected when this bill is reconciled with the House version and signed by President Obama is larger warning labels on cigarette packs (of the sort you see on British smokes), and control over ingredients including nicotine and even menthol. (“Menthol is used by three-quarters of black smokers,” helpfully points out the Times, “who also have a disproportionate share of lung cancer.”)
The bill, which — as is traditional with nanny-state provisions — carries the won’t-somebody-please-think-of-the-children name The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, passed 79 votes to 17, with only one Democratic senator against. (She is from North Carolina.) “It is actually a bipartisan bill,” John Coryn (R -Texas) told the New York Times.
Senator Barbara Boxer says Obama will sign the bill because “He has struggled with tobacco addiction… He knows how tough it is to say no to cigarettes.” And we can see how it has ruined his life. Next up: federal oversight of life-threatening computers.