Jun. 14 1996
Washington, DC - It is unfortunate that Bob Dole has distorted the issue of protecting kids from tobacco products," said William D. Novelli of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco products is essential to protect children from the addictive dangers of smoking and chew tobacco, despite yesterday's comments by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole. "Dole can't say he's for protecting kids and also say he's against the FDA proposal," Novelli said. Dole is obfuscating the serious problem of tobacco and kids. "Bob Dole knows that the FDA regulations would not ban tobacco," said Matthew Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "The regulations are narrowly tailored to protect kids. Dole is playing politics with this important issue." Tobacco use among America's children is at a sixteen year high. Between 1991 and 1995, smoking among 8th graders increased by 34 percent. Despite Dole's claims, it is beyond doubt that tobacco is addictive. Every independent scientific body that has reviewed the evidence now holds that tobacco products are addictive, including the Institute of Medicine, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the World Health Organization, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Medical Association. Additionally, internal industry documents show that the tobacco companies have long known that nicotine is highly addictive. It is clear that the tobacco industry's political contributions are distorting this important issue," Novelli said. "Protecting America's children from tobacco should be a non-partisan issue. We call on every candidate and elected official to reject contributions from the tobacco industry and to support real efforts to protect kids." The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids consists of over 100 organizations, including the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association. and the.American Lung Association united as the Coalition on Smoking OR Health. This statement is issued on behalf of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Coalition on Smoking OR Health.