Statement from Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E)
American Public Health Association
Washington, D.C., July 30, 2008 – The American Public Health Association applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for today passing the Family Smoking and Tobacco Control Act with an overwhelming bipartisan majority. The legislation aims to protect the health of Americans, particularly children, by giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate tobacco products.
For decades the tobacco companies have marketed their deadly products to our children, deceived consumers about the harm their products cause, and failed to take any meaningful action to make their products less harmful or less addictive. Today’s passage of this tobacco control legislation provides an opportunity to finally end the special protection enjoyed by the tobacco industry and protect our children and the nation’s health instead.
The legislation meets the high standard established by the public health community for tobacco regulation and will give the FDA authority to effectively regulate the manufacturing, marketing, labeling, distribution and sale of tobacco products.
APHA calls on members of the Senate to follow the lead of their House colleagues and quickly vote in support of this important legislation. With so much at stake, we cannot afford to wait any longer to take action to protect the health of our children and our nation.