FDA proposes extending its oversight of tobacco

by Michael Felberbaum

The federal government wants to extend its oversight of tobacco to include cigars, hookah, nicotine gels, pipe tobacco and dissolvable tobacco products.

The Food and Drug Administration proposal being issued Thursday would ban sales to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels.

Companies also would be required to register their products with the agency and disclose ingredients, among other things.

Once finalized, the agency could propose additional restrictions on the products, such as flavor bans or marketing restrictions.

Officials also are seeking public comment on whether the agency should treat premium, handmade cigars differently than machine-made cigars.

A 2009 law that gave the FDA authority to regulate tobacco but so far have only focused on cigarettes and outlined in that law.

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