Many Support FDA Regulation Of Cigarettes

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

For seven years, proponents have been trying to get the Food and Drug Administration to regulate cigarettes, and President Bush has firmly opposed.

Just last week, he declared that "nicotine is not a drug to be regulated under FDA."

But most Americans think it is. In a new Washington Post poll, two-thirds of the public said they support the proposal set to be considered in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions this morning.

Under Republican control, the Senate approved a similar proposal two years ago, only to have it die in the House.

The poll released today shows that support stretches across party lines, with solid backing by Democrats, Republicans and independents alike. The bill has been pushed by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and has 51 co-sponsors -- 37 Democrats, 12 Republicans and both Senate independents.

Perhaps just as important, 45 percent of smokers said they support FDA oversight.

-- Jon Cohen

© 2007 The Washington Post Company