WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement in response to today’s Senate passage of The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which includes an amendment he authored with colleague Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR):
“This bill will help prevent today’s youth from becoming tomorrow’s tobacco consumers,” Brown said. “Tobacco companies are constantly trying to find new ways to replace the more than 400,000 customers they lose each year to tobacco-related deaths and illnesses. I’m proud that this legislation includes an amendment I authored with Sen. Merkley that will protect children from smokeless ‘tobacco candies.’ These products, which are being test-marketed in Ohio, are squarely aimed at children. This bill will equip the government with the resources it needs to protect Americans and promote public health.”
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act would grant the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) new legal authority to regulate tobacco products. Under the bill, the FDA could regulate the content of cigarettes and other products, set rules governing marketing and warning labels, review previously classified tobacco industry research, and decide whether new tobacco products may be sold in the U.S. More information can be found here.
The Merkley-Brown amendment included in this landmark legislation responds to new tobacco candy products selectively launched in Ohio, Oregon, and several other test market communities. More information about the amendment, which would require an examination into the public health effects of tobacco candies and risk pertaining to children, can be found here.