Senate panel OKs tobacco regulation bill

Aug. 2, 2007 at 12:39 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- A U.S. Senate panel has approved a bill that empowers the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products, Congressional Quarterly said Thursday.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has endorsed the measure by a 13-8 vote, clearing the way for an appearance on the Senate floor after the August recess, the journal noted.

The committee also adopted several amendments, including one banning the use of cloves in tobacco products marketed in the United States.

Among the opponents who would like to stamp the bill out are Republican Senators Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, who proposed lessening the regulatory powers the bill would give the FDA, and Michael Enzi of Wyoming, who is fighting to phase out the use of tobacco for smoking during the next 20 years.

The Bush administration has not given an opinion on the bill, but is not expected to support it, Congressional Quarterly said.

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