It says something about the power of politics and influence to trump common sense when it has taken this long to get any meaningful legislation passed that regulates tobacco like the drug that it is.
There's an analogy here to the health care issue, in that we are the only industrialized country left with no guaranteed health care for its entire population, because powerful special interests stood in the way of the people's interest.
It does seem a bit weird that the Food and Drug Administration, an outfit designed to ensure the safety and purity of things we put into our bodies, is about to be placed in charge of a substance that kills and, at best, sickens people, with no redeeming medical value. I guess it's the only agency with the structure in place to do so.
We could have built a whole new department out of thin air--a la Department of Homeland Security--called the Slow Suicide Administration or something, but we know how Republicans feel about expanding bureaucracy. Best to keep it all under one roof.
This way, the Surgeon General can condemn the product on the one hand, while the FDA can safeguard us from, ahem, any harmful chemicals that might make it into our coffin nails on the other. As a taxpayer, I appreciate these rare examples of government efficiency.