Tobacco: Saving Face

-- Like stale cigarette smoke, debate over anti-tobacco legislation will linger in Capitol Hill corridors all summer. Anxious to show they're not in Big Tobacco's pocket after killing a mammoth bill aimed at curbing tobacco use, Republicans are readying new antismoking measures. Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), proposes to make tobacco companies pay $428 billion over 25 years while capping their risk from lawsuits at $5.5 billion. In July, House GOP leaders will introduce a narrow bill to curb teenage smoking. Neither measure is likely to win broad support. But if voters take interest, look for lawmakers to pass--and the President to sign--a modest bill that lets both parties claim victory in the war on smoking.