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Faith Leaders Call on Iowa Members of Congress to Support Legislation to Protect Kids from Tobacco
Date:3/10/2009

DES MOINES, Iowa, March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A diverse coalition of clergy and lay members from faith organizations throughout Iowa held a press conference today to call on U.S. Senators Tom Harkin and Charles E. Grassley and the entire Iowa congressional delegation to support legislation that would grant the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority over tobacco products. Senator Tom Harkin was a cosponsor of the bill in the last session of Congress, Senator Grassley was not.

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"Iowa faith leaders hope and pray that all of the Iowa congressional delegation will support this legislation that will help us save lives in our state and across the nation," said Rev. Timothy Bonney of the First Baptist Church of Greater Des Moines. "The toll tobacco takes in our state - and in our nation - every year is devastating. But the REAL costs are what it does to our families. We need our members of Congress to stand up for Iowa's kids."

Despite all the death and disease they cause, tobacco products are virtually unregulated to protect consumers' health. This continuing lack of regulation allows the tobacco companies to market their deadly products to children, deceive consumers about the harm their products cause and resist even the most minimal steps to make their products less harmful.

Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee overwhelmingly passed the bill, Rep. Bruce Braley (D-1st) voted for the bill as a member of the committee. A full House vote is expected in the coming weeks. The legislation is supported by nearly 1,000 public health, faith and other organizations across the country, including every major national public health organization. A poll conducted in May 2008 found that 70 percent of American voters support Congress
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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