RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A year after a new law put tobacco in the hands of federal regulators, the Food and Drug Administration is taking its time assessing the scientific evidence for improving public health.
It may be years before before any of the most aggressive steps suggested to reduce deaths from smoking occur.
That leaves the future of the industry and effects on both companies and consumers under a cloud of smoke.
Anti-tobacco advocates suggest the law could lead to aggressive moves like reducing nicotine levels and banning menthol cigarettes.
The FDA's measured approach hasn't stopped it from making changes prescribed by the law.
Public health experts want more to be done to reduce death and disease caused by tobacco products.