A bill has reappeared and is moving rapidly through Congress that would allow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco. Among other things, it would restrict the ways cigarettes are marketed, require disclosure of ingredients, mandate larger warning labels and permit the FDA to require removal of harmful chemicals and additives from cigarettes. The bill was produced through years of negotiation between Philip Morris (PM) and a single health group, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and while it has more chance of passing now than ever before, critics point out that it is riddled with loopholes and doesn't go far enough. "This is a big gift to Philip Morris," said Joel Nitzkin, chair of the tobacco control task force of the American Association of Public Health Physicians. "Our initial impression was, 'Gee, this would be great.' But when we read through the entire 160 pages, we were horrified by what we saw." Nitzkin says the bill protects tobacco products currently on the market while making it harder to introduce newer, potentially less-harmful ones. Philip Morris supports the bill, but R.J. Reynolds and other PM competitors oppose it, saying that the added restrictions on marketing and product development will freeze market share where it is and hand the advantage to PM, currently the largest cigarette marketer in the U.S.
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