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Sen. Jeff Merkley Votes to Protect America's Kids From Tobacco
Date:5/20/2009

an 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:

  • Restrict tobacco advertising and promotions, especially to children.
  • Stop illegal sales of tobacco products to children.
  • Require larger, more effective health warnings on tobacco packages and advertising.
  • Ban misleading health claims such as "light" and "low-tar" and strictly regulate all health claims about tobacco products to ensure they are scientifically proven and do not discourage current tobacco users from quitting or encourage new users to start.
  • Require tobacco companies to disclose the contents of tobacco products, as well as changes in products and research about their health effects.
  • Empower the FDA to require changes in tobacco products, such as the removal or reduction of harmful ingredients or the reduction of nicotine levels.
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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