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U.S. Rep. Connolly, Inova Health System Physicians, Public Health Groups Call for Congressional Action to Protect Kids from Tobacco
Date:3/19/2009

FALLS CHURCH, Va., March 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly, several prominent doctors from Inova Health System and public health leaders from Virginia held a press conference today to call for quick passage of federal legislation that would grant the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority over tobacco products. The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the bill earlier this month and a full House vote is expected in the coming weeks. Rep. Connolly is an original cosponsor of the legislation.

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The pending legislation would give FDA the authority to crack down on tobacco marketing and sales to kids, stop tobacco companies from misleading the public about the health risks of their products and allow the FDA to make changes in these products. Despite being the most deadly product sold in America, tobacco products are exempt from basic health regulations that apply to other products we consume, such as food and drugs. The FDA regulates a box of macaroni and cheese and a tube of lipstick, but not a pack of cigarettes.

"Tobacco takes a devastating toll in health, lives and money, both nationwide and in Virginia," said Representative Gerry Connolly. "By granting the FDA authority over tobacco, Congress can reduce the tremendous financial burden that tobacco use imposes on our health care system and also protect our children from tobacco addiction."

The participants highlighted a recent report "Deadly in Pink: Big Tobacco Steps Up Its Targeting of Women and Girls," issued by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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