Cigarette marketers rap FDA

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Calling the Food & Drug Administration's bid to regulate tobacco advertising a "power grab" the Tobacco Institute and five major cigarette companies Tuesday urged the FDA to withdraw its proposal. The FDA has proposed restricting cigarette advertising to little more than text ads, eliminating giveaways of merchandise with tobacco brand names and requiring the tobacco industry to fund an anti-tobacco advertising campaign. Tuesday is the last day to present comments on the proposal.

"The agency has no legal authority to regulate tobacco products," the industry statement said. In its 2,000 pages of objections, the industry contended that the FDA's proposed rules go far beyond their described aim of preventing underage smoking. The FDA "seeks to ban common promotional practices and impose requirements that would interfere with adults' choices and the rights of cigarette companies to sell a legal product," the companies said. The "FDA wants to ban legitimate tools for marketing a legal product to adults," said the companies, adding there is considerable evidence that the moves will not achieve their intended goals.

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