- WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is lauding the passage of historic anti-smoking legislation that gives the government sweeping authority to regulate tobacco products, pledging to quickly sign the measure into law.
"For over a decade, leaders of both parties have fought to prevent tobacco companies from marketing their products to children and provide the public with the information they need to understand what a dangerous habit this is," said Obama, who has struggled for years to kick his own nicotine habit.
The House on Friday gave final approval to the bill after a bitter fight lasting nearly a half-century. The measure for the first time will give the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate what goes into tobacco products, demand changes or elimination of toxic substances and block the introduction of new products.
Lawmakers and the White House quickly declared it would save the lives of thousands of smokers of all ages. Even more important, they said, the measure could keep countless young people from starting in the first place.
Of course, once anything goes black market, like marijuana and crack, it becomes easier for children to get their hands on them; drug dealers don't card at the register.
Ron Paul on the House floor speaking out against this legislation: