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House Passes Historic Bill to Protect Kids from Tobacco; Senators Bond & McCaskill Should Cosponsor Legislation
Date:7/30/2008

WASHINGTON, July 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. House of Representatives took a historic step today by passing legislation that would grant the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority over tobacco products, including the authority to crack down on tobacco marketing and sales to kids. The bill passed with an overwhelming majority and broad, bipartisan support. The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate for consideration and Missouri public health organizations called on Senator Christopher Bond (R-MO) and Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) to protect America's kids from tobacco addiction and support the bill.

"Tobacco use is the nation's leading preventable cause of death, killing more than 400,000 people and costing more than $96 billion in health care costs each year," said Bonnie Linhardt, Missouri State Advocacy Director for the American Heart Association. "In Missouri, 24 percent of high school students smoke, and tobacco use kills 9,800 residents each year. In addition, it is responsible for $2.1 billion in health care costs annually. We call on Senators Bond and McCaskill to cosponsor the bill that would grant the FDA authority over tobacco, while helping us fight for the health and well-being of Missouri's children."

Among other things, the legislation would:

-- Crack down on tobacco marketing and sales to kids;

-- Require larger, more effective health warnings on tobacco products;

-- Require tobacco companies to disclose the contents of tobacco products;

-- Grant the FDA authority to require changes in tobacco products, such as removal or reduction of harmful ingredients;

-- Stop tobacco companies from misleading the public about health risks of their products.

Unbelievably, despite all the harm they cause, tobacco products are exempt from basic health regulations that apply to other products, such as food, drugs, and even cosmetics. The tobacco companies continue to take advantage o
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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