The Bush administration opposes legislation to give federal health authorities the power to regulate tobacco products wrote a top official in a letter to Congress.
The letter is the strongest indication yet that the administration will try to block the broadly popular legislation, which is supported by majorities in both chambers and lists both presidential contenders among its co-sponsors. Though a floor vote is expected in the House this summer, a protracted battle with the White House could doom the bill's passage this year.
It would give the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate cigarettes and other tobacco products in order to reduce the harm from smoking. Though the government would not be able to outlaw tobacco or ban nicotine, regulators could demand elimination of other hazardous ingredients in cigarettes. (pi)