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New Report: Tobacco Regulation Would Save Iowa $449 Million in Health Care Costs by Preventing 25,700 Kids from Smoking
Date:12/13/2007

DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- If Congress passes legislation to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate tobacco products, the new law would save the state $449.8 million in tobacco-related health care costs by keeping 25,700 kids from becoming new smokers, according to a new report released today by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Senator Tom Harkin is a cosponsor of the legislation. Senator Charles Grassley is not.

In Iowa tobacco use causes $1.01 billion in health care bills each year and kills 4,500 residents; 22.2 percent of Iowa high school students currently smoke.

Despite the death and disease caused by tobacco products, they are not regulated to protect consumers' health. This 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 changes that could make their products less harmful.

The legislation pending in Congress (S. 625/H.R. 1108) would give the FDA authority to crack down on tobacco marketing and sales to kids, stop tobacco companies from misleading the public about the health risks of their products and require changes in tobacco products, such as the reduction or removal of harmful ingredients. It would also require larger, more effective health warnings and disclosure of the contents of tobacco products.

"Tobacco takes a devastating toll in health, lives and money, both nationwide and in Iowa," said Stacey Frelund, American Cancer Society of Iowa. "By granting the FDA authority over tobacco, Congress can reduce the tremendous financial burden that tobacco use imposes on our health care system and also protect our children from tobacco addiction."

The new report is based on an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office that, within the first five years of its implementation, the FDA bill would reduce youth smoking by
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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