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Senators Murkowski and Begich Vote to Protect America's Kids from Tobacco
Date:6/11/2009

WASHINGTON, June 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids applauds U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich for voting today to approve historic legislation that gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate tobacco products, including the authority to crack down on tobacco marketing and sales to kids. The U.S. Senate approved the bipartisan bill 79 to 17. The House has approved similar legislation, and Congress is expected to quickly send a final bill to President Obama, who is eager to sign it into law. Both Alaska senators co-sponsored the bill.

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"Senators Murkowski and Begich have been leaders in this historic effort to protect our children from tobacco addiction and save lives," said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "This legislation represents the strongest action Congress has ever taken to reduce tobacco use, the number one cause of preventable death in the United States. If effectively implemented, this legislation will significantly reduce the number of children who start to use tobacco, the number of adults who continue to use tobacco and the number of people who suffer and die as a result."

FDA regulation of tobacco products is an essential step toward improving health and reducing health care costs in the United States. Tobacco use kills more than 400,000 Americans and costs the nation $96 billion in health care bills each year. Every day, more than 3,500 U.S. kids try their first cigarette. Yet tobacco products have been exempt from the FDA's common-sense regulations that apply to virtually every other product we consume, from food to drugs to cosmetics.

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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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