Here are some excerpts:
• It is inconceivable, then, that the most deadly product legally sold in the United States is exempt from federal regulation. (Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration oversees dog food, perfume and, yes, nicotine gum.) The new Congress should pass legislation that would give the FDA authority to regulate Big Tobacco.
• For too long, cigarette makers have decided what's safe for consumers. Their concern for the health of smokers -- or lack thereof -- has led them to disguise the dangers of their products with labels such as "light" and "low tar," and to lure young smokers by peddling candy-flavored cigarettes. The proposed legislation would eliminate such misleading labels and severely curtail Big Tobacco's ability to market to youths. The legislation would also require tobacco companies to disclose the ingredients in their products and place larger warning labels on cigarette packs. Most significant, it would give the FDA the latitude to take further steps to curb addiction, such as requiring the removal of harmful additives.
• The proposed economic stimulus bill will be Congress's top priority, but legislation regulating Big Tobacco shouldn't be far behind. The threat of a filibuster by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and of a veto by President Bush, prevented the legislation from passing last year. But with Mr. Obama in the White House, and a strong Democratic majority in the Senate, there are fewer obstacles -- and no excuses. By regulating tobacco, the new Congress can secure an early, bipartisan victory that would help set the tone for the rest of the session.