US Senators from North Carolina Richard Burr (R) and Kay Hagan (D) introduced on March 11th the Federal Tobacco Act of 2009, which would establish a separate entity called the Federal Tobacco Regulatory Agency to regulate the manufacture, marketing, sale and use of tobacco products, as opposed to US Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D-California) HR 1256, which seeks to give the Food and Drug Administration regulatory control over tobacco products. Under the Burr-Hagan proposal, the new Federal agency would enforce existing as well as new statutes and regulations governing tobacco products. The measure would prohibit the advertising of tobacco products in newspapers and magazines as well as ban the use of descriptors such as ‘light,’ ‘mild,’ ‘ultra-light,’ ‘medium,’ and ‘low.’ In a press release, Hagan said the “FDA is overburdened already, and lacks the capacity or the expertise to take on a large, complicated new industry. Rather than merely oppose FDA regulation, Senator Burr and I have offered an alternative proposal that protects the tobacco industry while also imposing stringent new restrictions that will prevent children from smoking. I will not stand idly by while the FDA is put in charge of such a critical industry to North Carolina.” Hagan said she will seek support for the measure from her colleagues in the Senate
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