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U.S. House Casts Historic Vote to Protect Kids from Tobacco, Save Lives

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  • U.S. House Casts Historic Vote to Protect Kids from Tobacco, Save Lives

    Here's one area where I actually think the FDA needs to expand their jurisdiction (as opposed to having none) :

    This year, the U.S. Congress has a truly historic opportunity to protect our children from tobacco addiction and save lives. It can do so by passing legislation to grant the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco products.

    Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in America. It kills more than 400,000 Americans and costs the nation nearly $100 billion in health care bills each year. Every day, another 1,200 lives are lost and more than 1,000 kids become new regular smokers.

    Despite being the deadliest product sold in America, tobacco products are among the least regulated products sold in America. Tobacco products today are exempt from basic health regulations that apply to other consumer products, such as food, drugs and even lipstick.

    Tobacco companies take advantage of this lack of regulation to market their deadly and addictive products to children, deceive consumers about the harm their products cause and resist changes that could make their products less harmful.

    Congress should end this special protection for Big Tobacco by passing legislation to give the FDA authority to regulate tobacco products. The public health community strongly supports bipartisan bills that have been introduced in Congress:

    S. 625 sponsored by Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and John Cornyn (R-TX).

    H.R. 1108 sponsored by Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Tom Davis (R-VA).

    This legislation would:

    Crack down on tobacco marketing and sales to kids.

    Require larger, more effective health warnings on tobacco products.

    Require tobacco companies to disclose the contents of tobacco products, changes to their products and research about the health effects of the products.

    Grant the FDA authority to require changes in tobacco products, such as the removal or reduction of harmful ingredients.

    Ban candy-flavored cigarettes.

    Prohibit terms such as "light", "mild" and "low-tar" that mislead consumers into believing that certain cigarettes are safer.

    Prohibit health claims about so-called “reduced risk” products that are not scientifically proven or that would discourage current tobacco users from quitting or encourage new users to start.

    This legislation has been co-sponsored by a majority of both the House and the Senate. It has been endorsed by more than 680 public health, faith and other organizations across the country. And it is supported by 70 percent of American voters.

    The time is now for Congress to enact this life-saving legislation into law.

    More details on what the bill would do

    Keep your mind on the aether