Statement from Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E)
American Public Health Association
Washington, D.C., July 29, 2008 – The American Public Health Association strongly urges U.S. House members to vote in support of pending legislation that would give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate tobacco products.
Although tobacco use is responsible for more than 400,000 deaths each year and costs more than $155 billion each year in medical expenses and lost productivity, tobacco products remain virtually unregulated.
Despite decades of evidence of their damage, 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. The Family Smoking and Tobacco Control Act would 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.
We call on our leaders to show their commitment to protecting the health of our nation, and particularly our children, by voting in favor of this legislation.