Washington, DC— Democratic Senators Dick Durbin, Chris Dodd, Tom Harkin, Jack Reed and Frank R. Lautenberg held a press conference today praising passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. This groundbreaking legislation will give the Food and Drug Administration the legal authority to regulate the sale, distribution, and advertising of cigarettes in order to stop tobacco companies from targeting children and misleading the public.
“The tobacco companies’ days of peddling one of the most deadly products in the world have finally come to an end,” Durbin said. “With the passage of today’s legislation we will begin to reduce the terrible toll tobacco has taken on children and families across the nation.”
Said Dodd: “By passing this bill we have scored a major victory for our children, including the 15,000 in Connecticut who try cigarettes for the first time every year. 76,000 Connecticut children alive today are expected to eventually die from smoking. This bill makes it harder for tobacco companies to addict our children, gives parents peace of mind, and will ultimately save lives.”
“No other industry is allowed to add new ingredients to their products without first having them tested and approved by the FDA for safety,” Harkin said. “Kraft Foods would never be allowed to add ammonia to Kraft Macaroni and Cheese on the grounds that, say, it improves ‘cheese satisfaction’ for its customers. That’s because ammonia is not on the FDA list of products that are Generally Recognized as Safe. This bill is about standing up to the power of Big Tobacco, standing up for our children and fighting back against the No. 1 cause of preventable death in this country, sparing millions of Americans the ravages of completely avoidable disease, disability, and death. It is a huge public health victory for America.”
Said Reed: “I applaud Chairman Kennedy and Senator Dodd for laying the groundwork to pass this important legislation. Passing this bill will help curb smoking and reduce health care costs nationwide. It will give the FDA the power to regulate tobacco which will help prevent tobacco companies from targeting minors, misleading consumers, and including hazardous additives in their products.”
“Joe Camel may be dead, but this bill will ensure his entire species is extinct,” Lautenberg said. “For too long, Big Tobacco and their powerful lobbyists had free rein to hide the real dangers of tobacco and target our kids as the next generation of smokers. This bill would give the FDA authority to regulate tobacco and shut down the deceptive marketing and advertising that Big Tobacco has used so effectively.”