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American College of Chest Physicians Celebrates the Nation's Victory for Tobacco Control
Date:6/12/2009

NORTHBROOK, Ill., June 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) applauds the U.S. Senate in its truly historic 79-17 vote yesterday and the U.S. House of Representatives reaffirming 307-97 vote today to grant the U.S. Food and Drug Administration meaningful authority to regulate tobacco products. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act represents the strongest legislation Congress has ever passed to reduce tobacco use, the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

"This Congress, with the Obama Administration's unwavering support, has finally accomplished what previously could not be done. It has ended the special protection that the tobacco industry has enjoyed for too long, and at great cost to our nation's health," said James A.L. Mathers, MD, FCCP, President of the American College of Chest Physicians.

The U.S. Senate and U.S. House have passed the new legislation with overwhelming margins, which underscores the strong bipartisan consensus and the unwavering determination of leaders on both sides.

The ACCP acknowledges and congratulates the members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate for making this legislation a priority, including Representative Henry A. Waxman, (D-CA), bill sponsor in the House; Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), bill sponsor in the Senate; and the many representatives and senators who have played a leadership role, including Senator Christopher Dodd, Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senator Richard Durbin, Senator Tom Harkin, Senator John Cornyn, and Senator Charles Grassley.

"The ruling is not only a major victory for America's health, but it is also a testament that the Obama Administration and our country's top leaders are committed to improving the future health of Americans," said Dr. Mathers.

For nearly 50 years, the ACCP has been an ardent supporter of tobacco control and reduction policies and has been the premier physician voice in public health policy debates around tobacco. The ACCP has worked with our nation's leaders, including Senator Durbin, when he served in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, Senator Edward Kennedy, as well as other Members of Congress, to support tobacco control legislation, including the smoking ban on all domestic flights and the increase of federal excise tax on tobacco.

The ACCP represents 17,400 members who provide patient care in the areas of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine in the United States and throughout the world. The ACCP's mission is to promote the prevention and treatment of diseases of the chest through leadership, education, research, and communication. For more information about the ACCP, please visit the ACCP Web site at www.chestnet.org.


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SOURCE American College of Chest Physicians
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