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Big win for US anti-smoking campaigners -

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CAVE: The United States Senate has backed landmark legislation giving the Government far-reaching
new powers to curb smoking amongst Americans.

The legislation will see a clamp down on the marketing of advertising of tobacco products and for
the first time will regulate the content of cigarettes.

As Lindy Kerin reports, the move is being seen as a huge win for the anti-smoking campaigners.

LINDY KERIN: By a margin of 79 to 17, the United States Senate passed the historic legislation.

The bill gives the Food and Drug Administration new powers to regulate tobacco products.

It will mean larger health warnings on cigarette packets and limits on advertising that glorifies

Democrat Senator Richard Durbin:

RICHARD DURBIN: There is a message in this bill for those tobacco companies that have been preying
on our children. There is a new cop on the beat and that cop on the beat is the FDA.

LINDY KERIN: The bill also bans cigarette makers from using words like mild or light in advertising
and will also see a ban on flavoured cigarettes, possibly including menthol.

Senator Chris Dodd hopes the tough measures will curb smoking especially among young people.

CHRIS DODD: For 50 years the tobacco industry has successfully fought the ability to regulate
tobacco products and yet 3,000 to 4,000 kids start smoking every day.

LINDY KERIN: Several Republicans who'd voted against earlier procedural motions changed their
position. Among them was Senator Mike Enzi.

He says he still has concerns about the measures but can see some cost saving benefits.

MIKE ENZI: We all pay for what smokers put into their bodies and breathe out into the air. We all
bear the increased financial costs of the diminished health of smokers. When one of your colleagues
smokes, your health insurance premiums go up for everybody.

LINDY KERIN: The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, stalled for almost a decade
because of opposition in tobacco growing states.

The new legislation reflects a political shift and allows the US President Barack Obama to follow
through with his campaign pledge to sign such legislation if he became President.

Daniel Smith from the American Cancer Society has welcomed the legislation. He's especially pleased
that from now on manufacturers will have to list all the ingredients in tobacco products.

DANIEL SMITH: Many of these products contain a lot of poisons and the consumers don't actually,
they aren't actually aware of that.

LINDY KERIN: Professor Mike Daube is the President of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health.
He says this is a massive win for public health.

MIKE DAUBE: This is monumentally important. It's the biggest loss that the tobacco industry has
suffered in a country that is essentially the centre of the tobacco companies.

The US has been lagging behind for a long time because of the power of the tobacco lobby. Now for
the first time, the Government has real powers to crack down on tobacco companies.

It will crack down on their marketing and their promotions. It will mean stronger, tougher health
warnings, better product information, a whole range of further controls on tobacco companies - so
it's a huge win for public health.

LINDY KERIN: Professor Daube says this is a big deal for a country that has the world's
second-largest tobacco market after China.

MIKE DAUBE: America is traditionally seen as the centre of the tobacco industry and of course
smoking kills more than 400,000 Americans every year, so this is really important for America.

But it's also sending a huge signal internationally. America exports cigarettes to so many
developing as well as developed countries and this sends out a signal now that the tobacco industry
in America is going to be controlled.

Australia is a world leader in tobacco control. We are doing well. The Americans have not been
doing so well.

LINDY KERIN: You said Australia is a leader in tobacco control. Is there anything though in this
new legislation passed in the United States that Australia could take note of?

MIKE DAUBE: Yes there is and one of the great things about tobacco control is that just as in
Australia states leapfrog each other, so internationally companies leapfrog each other.

Now what this legislation does is give the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, authority to
regulate tobacco products so we'll have to see what they can do with it.

But it gives the American governmental authority now controls over things like product disclosure,
over content of tobacco products, the capacity to acquire changes in tobacco products in a way that
we can also learn from.

PETER CAVE: Professor Mike Daube from the Australian Council on Smoking and Health, ending Lindy
Kerin's report.