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North Carolina Faith Leaders Call on Sen. Burr to End Filibuster Threat of Legislation to Protect Kids From Tobacco
Date:1/15/2009

s across the country, including every major national public health organization. FDA regulation of tobacco was also endorsed last year by major reports of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the President's Cancer Panel. A poll conducted in June found that 70 percent of American voters support Congress passing the legislation.

The bipartisan legislation pending before Congress would give the FDA authority to:

  • Restrict tobacco advertising and promotions, especially to children.
  • Ban candy-flavored cigarettes.
  • Require tobacco companies to disclose the contents of tobacco products, changes to their products and research about the health effects of their products.
  • Require changes in tobacco products, such as the removal or reduction of harmful ingredients.
  • Prohibit health claims about so-called "reduced risk" products that are not scientifically proven or that would discourage current tobacco users from quitting or encourage new users to start.
  • Require larger, more effective health warnings on tobacco products.
  • Prohibit terms such as "low-tar," "light" and "mild" that have mislead consumers into believing that certain cigarettes are safer than others.

"It is mind-boggling that tobacco products are the number one cause of preventable death in the United States, yet they are virtually unregulated to protect public health," said Dr. Douglas Schocken, Duke Heart Center, Duke University Medical Center. "Until Congress grants the FDA authority over tobacco products, America's kids and consumers will continue to be lured into addiction by the tobacco industry."

In North Carolina, tobacco use causes $2.46 billion in health care bills each year and kills 11,900 residents; 19 percent of North Carolina high school students currently smoke.

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SOURCE Faith United Against Tobacco
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