Jun. 19 1997
Washington, DC - The CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS is pleased to support the bill introduced today by U.S. Senators Christopher "Kit" Bond and Dale Bumpers, the Pregnant Mothers and Infants Health Protection Act of 1997, as an important step towards protecting children from tobacco products. The use of tobacco by mothers and pregnant women poses a significant risk to fetuses and infants. Smoking during pregnancy causes approximately 20 to 30 percent of the cases of low-birth weight babies in United States. In addition, smoking during and after pregnancy results in a significantly higher risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and also causes thousands of cases of asthma and respiratory infection. The United States has made significant progress towards reducing smoking by pregnant women; however, a recent survey shows that 14 percent still smoke during pregnancy. Considering the immediate and severe health impact on fetuses and infants, we must do more to ensure that no fetuses, infants or children are exposed to the dangerous effects of tobacco products. This program represents a significant step forward by establishing a national effort to educate women and mothers about this serious risk and to help them end their use of tobacco. Along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s initiative to protect children -- including adolescent girls -- from the lure of tobacco products, this bill will lead to a healthier America.