WASHINGTON, May 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids applauds U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) for his leadership role in Senate committee approval of legislation that gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory authority over tobacco products, including the authority to crack down on tobacco marketing and sales to kids. In addition to co-sponsoring and voting for the bill, Senator Dodd chaired a meeting of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), which approved the bill Wednesday and sent it to the full Senate for consideration. Senator Dodd is a longtime advocate of FDA authority over tobacco products and previously has introduced comprehensive children's legislation that included such authority.
Thanks to Senator Dodd's leadership, we are a critical step closer to enacting this historic legislation to protect our children from tobacco addiction and save lives. We look forward to working with Senator Dodd to bring this bill before the full Senate and enact it into law in the near future. FDA regulation of tobacco products, the nation's number one cause of preventable death, is an essential step toward improving health and reducing health care costs in the United States.
This legislation has strong, bipartisan support in Congress and across the nation. The House of Representatives on April 2 voted 298-112 to approve similar legislation. It has been endorsed by more than 1,000 public health, faith, medical and other organizations (see list at www.tobaccofreekids.org/reports/fda/organizations.pdf). A poll last year found that 70 percent of American voters support FDA regulation of tobacco products (see details at www.tobaccofreekids.org/fdapoll/). It has been endorsed by scientific authorities including the Institute of Medicine and the President's Cancer Panel.
Tobacco use kills more than 400,000 Americans and costs the nation $96 billion in health care bills each year. Every day, more than 1,000 children become new regular smokers. Yet tobacco products are exempt from the FDA's common-sense regulations that apply to virtually every other product we consume, from food to drugs to cosmetics.
This legislation would grant the FDA the authority and resources to regulate the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco products. Among other things, it would:
|SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids|
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