President Obama signed a bill yesterday giving the Food and Drug Administration new power to regulate the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco.
The tobacco products industry is expected to see major changes under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
The law mandates lowering the nicotine levels in cigarettes, bans flavorful additives that are believed to attract younger smokers, requires every chemical ingredient to be detailed on the label and prohibits deceptive marketing and advertising that target the young.
"[D]espite the fact that tobacco is one of the deadliest products in America, the FDA has had no authority to regulate it," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said following the signing ceremony. "[T]his new law corrects that wrong."
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has also hailed the step as a "historic victory" for American kids and health.
For their part, tobacco companies have expressed concerns, including First Amendment reservations about provisions that could restrict their ability to communicate information about tobacco products to adult consumers.
Meanwhile, a newly released Gallup poll suggests 52 percent of Americans disapprove of the new law.