"Right now, tobacco is exempt from standards that apply to a can of soda or a box of pasta. Tobacco makers are exempt from the critical and basic consumer protections, such as ingredient disclosure, product testing, and restrictions -- and restrictions on marketing to children.
"This legislation grants the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products. It also requires detailed disclosures of tobacco product ingredients and restricts tobacco marketing and sales to young people, among other things.
"And this legislation does all of this in a fiscally responsible way -- funding the FDA tobacco activity through a user fee on tobacco manufacturers.
"Because of lost productivity and health care expenditures, cigarette smoking costs our nation more than $193 billion a year -- almost $200 billion a year. By reducing the number of smokers, not only will this legislation save lives and reduce chronic disease, it will also reduce health care costs.
"Today, approximately 3,500 young people will try a cigarette for the first time, and another 1,000 will become addicted and be new, regular, daily smokers. One-third of those children will eventually die prematurely because of smoking. We must do all that we can to prevent premature death from smoking. And today, we have that opportunity.
"Madam Speaker, I urge all of my colleagues to support the aptly named Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. I hope that the children of America will see a strong, bipartisan vote. This legislation deserves it. And then we can send it onto the President Obama to be signed into law, hopefully no later than next week.
"Today in passing this legislation -- enabling the FDA to regulate tobacco, we are taking a giant step toward making America healthier.
|SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House|
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