Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in America. Empowering the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate tobacco products is the most important action we can take to substantially reduce the number of men and women who suffer and die from smoking-induced disease each year.

We cannot, in good conscience, continue to allow the federal agency most responsible for protecting the public health to remain powerless to deal with the enormous risks of tobacco-the most lethal of all consumer products. That is why Senator Mike DeWine and I introduced legislation expanding the FDA's jurisdiction to cover tobacco products and why twenty other senators have already co-sponsored it. That is also why we are confident that the Senate will pass legislation granting the FDA the necessary authority to take on this enormously important task.