Nation
5:49 am
Fri June 12, 2009

Obama says he's eager to sign bill

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says he's eager to sign legislation passed by the Senate that would allow the FDA to step in and regulate tobacco.

The president, who has struggled to quit smoking himself, says the bill "will make history by giving the scientists and medical experts at the FDA the power to take sensible steps."

The House, which passed a similar measure back in April, plans to vote on the Senate's version Friday.

The bill would give the Food and Drug Administration new power to limit nicotine, curtail advertising and ban flavored tobacco products.

Smoking foes say the measure will cut the number of tobacco-related deaths and reduce the $100 billion in health-care costs attributed to smoking every year.

Opponents of the bill argue the FDA is the wrong place to regulate an item that's detrimental to health.