Virtually all money for tobacco research was eliminated in an Agriculture Department spending bill approved by the House on Friday.
The $67.9 billion spending bill, which also includes funding for the Food and Drug Administration, passed on a 278-127 vote. The Senate still must complete its version.The department is spending $3.7 million on tobacco research this year. The ban would cover the 1995 budget year, which starts Oct. 1.
Other anti-smoking measures in the bill include a continued ban on using government money to promote tobacco sales abroad and a ban on smoking in clinics where poor mothers and infants receive food from the government.
The only exception to the research ban would be studies of pure scientific interest to botanists and genetic researchers. More is known about tobacco genetics than any other plant. Because of that it can be used to develop genetically engineered drugs.
The bill did not take on the tobacco price support program, which is largely funded by an assessment on growers.