P.L. 111-31, The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (37 comments ↓ | 24 wiki edits: view article ↓)

  • This item is from the 111th Congress (2009-2010) and is no longer current. Comments, voting, and wiki editing have been disabled, and the cost/savings estimate has been frozen.

H.R. 1256 would protect the public health by providing the Food and Drug Administration with certain authority to regulate tobacco products.

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April 20, 2009, 10:24am (report abuse)

This is ridiculous. It is not the responsibility of the tax-payer (especially at $102 per household) to get people to stop doing something they know is dangerous in the first place. Smoking is a choice. My tax dollars should not be dedicated to someone else's irresponsibility.


April 20, 2009, 11:44am (report abuse)

Doesn't Washington have anything better to do than "keep" hitting taxes on somkers!! Why don't you try "harder" to control all of the overweight people that cost the hospitals sooooo much money each year!


(logged-in user) April 20, 2009, 5:18pm (report abuse)

Why do we refuse to simply STOP SUBSIDIES for tobacco?


(logged-in user) April 20, 2009, 5:25pm (report abuse)

Since tobacco products have had to be labeled as dangerous to health since before 1970. why do the courts not simply consider tobacco caused sicknesses as "Self - Inflicted - Injuries"?


April 20, 2009, 9:44pm (report abuse)

Now if they would only do this for the food that is produced and imported from foreign entities as well as manufactured in the US.. ...Melamine anyone?


April 23, 2009, 9:45am (report abuse)

Why do we need government dictating what we can do in our business, home, bedroom and now our ashtray?! Read the Constitution people!


April 23, 2009, 4:15pm (report abuse)

Incredible how the Government is against smokers, calls them sinners (sin tax) and yet smokers pay more taxes for CHIP than any other taxpayer! "For the Children" smokers are needed. As pointed out their are far more dangerous/toxic material in our communities than "second-hand" smoke! We are facing far more dangers in the United States than the our leaders to target certain citizens. No other product in the United States is tax as much as tobacco. Sterotyping citizens, belittling them, even to the extent of questioning their intelligence; people like Einstein, Churchill, Kennedy, McCarthur! From toxic waste from construction plants to purple haze of smog by vehicles, it is wrong to target people when in fact they are far from being the major culprits in causing health problems. I thought the promise was to "not" raise taxes on the average citizens; apparently cigarette smokers are not considered average. It is time for change..Stop taking our money!


April 23, 2009, 5:31pm (report abuse)

Way to go Ron! I smoke, have for years; yes- I know it is NOT healthy, however- it is my choice. And Ron is right- in order to pay for CHIP - more people will have to take up smoking. Do the math.


April 24, 2009, 3:07pm (report abuse)

As an ex-smoker, I firmly believe that tobacco products should not be regulated. Smoking is a choice - albeit a choice often made in one's youth when we tend to take risks and are open to peer pressure and "fitting in". It should not be the government's responsibility to legislate all behavior. Individuals must take responsibility for their own actions.

Martin K

April 26, 2009, 4:41pm (report abuse)

Smokers in America are almost equivalent to Jews in Nazi Germany. This is a blatant war on smokers and on freedom of choice.


(logged-in user) May 3, 2009, 11:33am (report abuse)

What happened to America being FREE?

Freedom of Choice, freedom of Religion, freedom of Speech. The right to pursue happiness. All smokers know tobacco is bad for them and the effects of nicotine, so why take their freedom away, are we not Americans too?

If we let them take the first freedom away, all the others are sure to fall like a house of cards. All it takes is the first one to fall!

If you Love your freedom of Religion, your freedom of Speech, your freedom of Anything as an American you have to right too; then call, email and write to your Senator today and put a stop to this madness before we have no freedoms left! Lets all do what ever it takes to stop this madness!

So many fellow country men and women have died for this freedom and right posses as Americans. The rest of the world respects us and admires us for our freedoms, yet we are willing to allow the government takes them starting with this bill.

Concerned Smoker

May 4, 2009, 2:44pm (report abuse)

When you're done whining... read the bill. It's about giving FDA regulatory control over a product that kills 400,000 Americans a year. A medication that results in a handful of deaths is pulled from the market, but big tobacco continues to profit while your friends and relatives die. It has nothing to do with America being free. Please. If a drug dealer passes out crack to your children, are you going to blame the children for getting hooked? It's not the crack dealer's fault, by your logic. Read the bill... it's as much about preventing your children from getting taken advantage of as it is preventing big tobacco from profiting while they die. And enough of this anti-American crap. If you really love America.. then stop letting big tobacco kill Americans without any penalty or worry.


(logged-in user) May 4, 2009, 11:37pm (report abuse)

Just did a little research. After the H.R. 2 was passed the federal tax on cigarettes increased from $0.39/pack to $1.00/pack. Fed tax on gasoline is $0.184/gal. Tax on "Roll your own" tobacco is $0.07/?? . Hmmmm I am guessing the next thing will be gas tax increases.


May 18, 2009, 8:45am (report abuse)

i don't know if you realized it phil but the tax on rolling tabacco went up 122percent in april, which means $30 per pound of rolling tobacco. leaving cartons of cigarettes cheaper than rolling tobacco in some states. here in new mexico a carton of cigarettes sells for 17 dollars at the indian store, but at the same store a can of rolling tobacco goes for 21 dollars.


May 30, 2009, 9:56pm (report abuse)

Not only will this bill help to control the scourge of smoking-related disabilities and death, but it has important legislation for federal employees, such as allowing federal employees to receive some credit for not using up their sick leave, which is what happens now--at a considerable cost to the government. This is a good bill.


June 5, 2009, 1:00pm (report abuse)

Take time to really read the bill. It just not about smoking issues. It has many issues to help federal employees and our military men and women.


(logged-in user) June 8, 2009, 10:19am (report abuse)

I guess this is a "man-caused" disaster?

The government sucks

June 8, 2009, 10:47am (report abuse)

Concerned Smoker, it is not the job of the government to keep everyone from killing themselves by making new laws that require more and more taxes. It is the job of the government to follow the Constitution.

You make an interesting crack dealer analogy, since the US government was a main conduit for introducing/selling huge amounts of the stuff to Americans. My point is that the government can't protect anyone from doing what they want, and I shouldn't be forced to pay for it. Unless the bill makes it illegal for tobacco companies to make a profit, they will continue to make a profit from friends and relatives dying.


(logged-in user) June 8, 2009, 11:46am (report abuse)

This taxation of tobacco product is totally out of control! Everytime politicians feel a need to tax, they target cigarette smokers and get away with it. We know smoking is not a healthy choice, but we are being singled out and burdened with $10 per carton by the state of Texas and another $10 per carton by the feds, come on, how about a sin tax on candy, dounuts and fast food that's destroying the health of our children. This is what the English did to early Americans and tea or Prohabition and alcohol. Leave us smokers alone, we're fed up!


June 8, 2009, 2:04pm (report abuse)

Oh yes, the FDA has done a wonderful job managing pharmaceuticle drugs haven't they. Will members of the tobacco industry be allowed to sit on the product approval board as does the pharmaceuticle companies do?

No, FDA is is a big farce and is steadily bought off by big Pharma on a regular basis, hence so many deadly drugs find their way into the market place.

Let's get rid of the FDA and those members of congress who accept bribery money from their lobbyist.


June 9, 2009, 6:39am (report abuse)

It does my heart good to see others who are upset about the unfair way we smokers are treated. Yes it is harmful but as so many others have said, there are so many other harmful "emmisions" out there! I started smoking when smoking was cool...now I am treated like a pyria...give me a break!

Jim Giunta

June 11, 2009, 4:48pm (report abuse)

To paraphrase:

When they came for the right to smoke...I did nothing, because I wasn't a smoker.

When they came for the right to eat fast food...I did nothing, because I didn't eat fast food.

When they came for the rights I do happen to cherish...there was no one left but me to complain, so they took it all.


June 13, 2009, 6:51am (report abuse)

Is anyone else sick and tired of being told what is and is not good and allowable for them to do? This country hasn't been 'free' since prohibition, and it gets less 'free' everyday (not to mention rampant taxation without representation.) Oh come on - do you really feel represented? What happened to 'by the people, for the people'? Did no one notice at all when the President stole an election? I don't know whether to cry - or go get a cigarette.


June 13, 2009, 9:06pm (report abuse)

My only problem with the bill is that they are targeting "clove cigarettes" which I smoke sometimes. They are NOT targeting Menthol which I think is more of a trainer cigarette than cloves.


June 14, 2009, 11:03am (report abuse)

I agree with Concerned Smoker. The tobacco aspects of this bill are designed to add tobacco-related harmful chemicals to the list of the ones the FDA can regulate, not to ban smoking. Thousands of such protections are already in place, with little effect on personal freedom. I can understand the argument that if you want to harm yourself by taking harmful chemicals you should be able to. The catch is that the only way that could happen is if tobacco users of any quantity signed agreements to not receive government subsidized medical care for any potentially tobacco related issues, agreed to not to pay for higher insurance rates even through work and, most importantly, were required to get the approval of anyone nearby when smoking, to include indoor and outdoor venues. To that latter point, smokers have done the opposite and often pride themselves on how they have stopped smoking in their cars and homes. If all smokers would reverse this then anti-tobacco legislation would subside.

Big Picture Nurse

June 22, 2009, 9:42am (report abuse)

Many of you have made great comments about freedom of choice, how smoking is an individual action, and even about the country's tax structure. But as a nurse, I can tell you that you're not free, because you're already paying for the consequences of smoking (and yes, obesity as well - did you know it is included in the Americans with Disabilities Act?). You may not be the smoker, but you ARE paying for their healthcare and the CHIP program. Yes, please DO THE MATH. Your tax dollars are shifted in large amounts to Medicare & Medicaid (Medicaid is the oversight for CHIP). Every day at work I see the results of individual, personal decisions that leave those same people critically ill, unable to live a decent life where they can engage in simple activities like walking, picking up their grandchildren, or even taking a nice, deep breath. And I see families torn apart by "the individual's" choices. Think big picture here - we are all paying for this "choice."


June 22, 2009, 10:11am (report abuse)

Leaving menthol cigarettes as an exception of allowed flavored cigarettes, and banning all others, has no scientific basis. That is clearly illegal discrimination under WTO rules. Several countries including Indonesia have announced that they will challenge this law.


June 22, 2009, 4:17pm (report abuse)

This bill is a political tool of the Phillip Morris Company. Conveniently, the ban allows the sale of menthol "flavored" cigarettes a popular seller amongst the African American Community. Yet, clove and flavored cigarettes are banned. Does it not seem that this is a protectionist ploy against Indonesian countries? Protecting the US tobacco industry, cutting consumer choice, and allowing the influence of big tobacco companies to make waves in the senate is not what this country was founded on?


June 28, 2009, 1:58am (report abuse)

Big Picture Nurse, I defer to your obvious medical expertise when it comes to the health effects of smoking. However, it isn't fair to say that everyone is paying for the healthcare of smokers. That's the whole (ostensible) reason for taxing tobacco in the first place: to offset the extra healthcare burden that their decisions place on the community. In economic terms, it's government intervention intended to decrease a negative externality. If you really DO THE MATH as you suggest you'll find that the amount that an average smoker pays in state and federal taxes actually far exceeds the additional healthcare costs they incur and that the additional revenue is directed towards other programs. And, not to be morbid, but the fact that smokers tend to have shorter lifespans actually saves the government money in the form of other entitlement benefits, such as Social Security, that smokers draw on for shorter periods. So put that in your pipe.


June 29, 2009, 2:52pm (report abuse)

I don't believe cigaretters are dangerous because I don't believe anything I am told about their so-called research. People are dying from all kinds of cancer and most of them are not even smokers! And speaking of that, just how much money is it going to take to find a cure? Do you realize that the chances are more likely than not that there is a cure and has been. Do you realize just how many doctors, etc; would be out of jobs if they announced a cure for cancer? Do you realize how many tax dollars would be lost? It's big business people.

Big Shrek

June 30, 2009, 1:23pm (report abuse)

WHEN is Congress going to stop the subsidation of Tobacco Farmers???

They wouldn't grow it if they weren't being PAID EXTRA FOR IT by the US Government!!!

Tobacco is one of the most land-destructive crops known to mankind...it RUINS farmland.

STOP THE SUBSIDIES!!! Pay for Soy instead!!


(logged-in user) July 30, 2009, 1:13pm (report abuse)

For those who don't know, there is an added tax as a result of this bill to fund the FDA. That tax is again levied against smokers. However, should this continue and everybody quits, the federal government will lose about 7.3 million in taxes. States will lose a lot as well. Guess that money has to made up somewhere then.


(logged-in user) July 30, 2009, 4:20pm (report abuse)

For those who still think that the federal government subsidizes (proper spelling) tobacco...PICK UP A NEWSPAPER ONCE IN A WHILE...Wall Street Journal http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1899911/posts

Rhenee Clark

August 3, 2009, 5:47pm (report abuse)

This law bans tobacco products used by casual and social smokers such as clove cigarettes and flavored tobaccos while keeping legal the most hazardous,deadly cigarette, commonly used by younger smokers on the market. Menthol. This law is an example of the government trying to gain more power and over stepping its bounds.


November 20, 2009, 11:03am (report abuse)


Overturn this pointless ban, it was voted in under the radar of your voters(democracy?).

Continue to enforce NO SMOKING to minors but allow adults to choose. I know for a fact that clove cigarettes are not as addictive as american brands. The few people I know who smoke them only smake occasionally... no where near the pack a day smokers hooked on Phill Morr chemical laden brands.

Listen to the voters like your were elected to do, use your heads, we know you can do it.


June 22, 2010, 1:05pm (report abuse)

tobacco deserves extinction


August 5, 2010, 2:24pm (report abuse)

I agree with GGG. There is no place in today's society for tobacco. I have taught too many classes on the horrors of tobacco. Just how many chemicals are added why How tobacco goes from one area to another. It does not make any difference if you filter the air for the non-smoking public. The filter will be filled to over flowing with in less then a month. Sooo those who don't want to be exposed to the poisons the tobacco com[panies put into the cigerates will be unless the restaurant is totally 100% smoke free. Those of you that still smoke, think about all those thousands of chemicals that are added. They are added to maake sure you become addicted within 5 cigerattes! Take control of your life! Don't let someone else control your life for you!

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