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Pelosi: Enabling the FDA to Regulate Tobacco a Giant Step Toward Making America Healthier
Date:6/12/2009

WASHINGTON, June 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor this morning in strong support of H.R. 1256, which will provide the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with authority to regulate tobacco products. The legislation passed the House by a vote of 307 to 97. It passed the Senate yesterday and now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature into law. Below are the Speaker's remarks.

"It's really a great day. It's momentous -- it's historic. We can't say that all the time about the legislation that we pass here, but it would be impossible to exaggerate the importance of what is happening here today.

"Today, we have an opportunity to protect public health and prevent disease. And today, we have an opportunity to honor our responsibility to our children to protect them from the harm that can come to them from the use of tobacco.

"Madam Speaker, tobacco is the number one cause of preventable deaths in the United States -- according to the Centers for Disease Control, it is responsible for about one in five, or 443,000, deaths annually.

"I want to acknowledge the great work of Chairman Waxman, Chairman Dingell, and Chairman Pallone. We passed this bill before Easter. Happily, yesterday, it passed the Senate, so that we can now pass the bill again and send it to the President's desk for his signature.

"There is so much support outside of the Congress as well. Thousands of organizations -- everyone from the American Cancer Society, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the AARP, and the Presbyterian Church -- just to name a few. They believe that passing this bill will save lives.

"Today, Americans benefit from the oversight of the FDA on foods that we eat, and medicines we take. Yet, despite the fact that tobacco is one of the deadliest products in America, the FDA has had no authority to regu
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SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House
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