U.S. House Votes to Protect Children from Big Tobacco

Statement of Daniel E. Smith, President, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)

Washington, D.C. -- April 2, 2009 -- “House members put children before Big Tobacco today by voting overwhelmingly to grant the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco products.

“Big Tobacco spends nearly $40 million each day to try to lure a new generation of consumers with enticing candy- and fruit-flavored cigarettes, downplaying the danger of products with false health claims such as ‘light’ and ‘low tar.’  The  ‘Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act’ (H.R. 1256) would stop the marketing of tobacco products to children, require tobacco companies to list the poisons in their products and mandate larger and more effective warning labels on tobacco product packaging.  Finally, tobacco would be subject to regulation as is virtually every other consumable product in America.

“The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), together with more than 1,000 public health, medical, children’s, and faith-based organizations, supports this lifesaving piece of legislation.  The FDA is the only agency with vast scientific and regulatory expertise to regulate addictive and deadly tobacco products, which are responsible for killing 400,000 Americans every year.

“ACS CAN thanks Representatives Waxman (D-CA) and Platts (R- PA) for making this critical legislation a priority early in the 111th Congress.  We call on the Senate to take up this legislation as quickly as possible and send it to the President’s desk for his signature.  Every day the tobacco industry is allowed to continue to operate unregulated and to freely market its lethal products to children, 3500 of those children will pick up their first cigarette and 1,000 will make smoking a daily habit.”

ACS CAN is the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate organization of the American Cancer Society, dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage lawmakers, candidates and government officials to support laws and policies that will make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer. For more information, visit http://www.acscan.org/.

Alissa Havens
Phone: (202) 661-5772
Email: Alissa.Havens@cancer.org

Christina Saull
Phone: (202) 585-3250
Email: Christina.Saull@cancer.org


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