Please join us in urging the U.S. Congress to make passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, legislation that would give the FDA authority over tobacco products its most important New Year's resolution for 2008.
Pass FDA Tobacco Legislation in 2008
I'm writing today to urge you to make the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (S. 625/HR 1108) your top priority in 2008. This strong bipartisan legislation grants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) effective authority to regulate tobacco products, protecting children and promoting public health.
Each day more than 1,100 children and teens become regular smokers. Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death - more than 438,000 Americans die prematurely each year from smoking-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease and lung disease like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
There is strong and growing support for this legislation. More than a majority of the U.S. Senate has cosponsored S. 625 and in the House of Representatives 217 Members are cosponsors, including a majority on the Energy and Commerce Committee. Now is the time for the Congress to make this legislation the law of the land.
Currently, tobacco companies spend over $13 billion each year in advertising and marketing their products. Just this year, Camel No. 9, a new product claiming to be "Light and Luscious" appeared in stores. With its bright pink and teal packages and advertising, this product is clearly targeted at girls and young women. Other tobacco companies are trying to appeal to those concerned about health with claims like "great taste - less toxins." This bill will allow the FDA to stop tobacco companies from marketing to children and making false health claims.
Unlike most other products consumed by Americans, tobacco products continue to escape even the most basic oversight. Until Congress acts, the tobacco companies will be free to continue their deadly business as usual.
Now is the time for Congress to pass this critical legislation. Please make this bill a personal top priority. This legislation will protect the public health and help prevent a new generation from becoming addicted to tobacco products.
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