Apr. 16 1997
Washington, DC - There have been discussions with the state attorneys general, the tobacco companies, and others over a possible settlement. Matthew Myers, our executive vice president and a longtime tobacco control advocate, participated in these discussions. Our objective in participating has been to ensure that the views of the public health community are expressed. The principles of the public health community have been critical to these discussions. Our goal has been to ensure that the opportunity for fundamental change not be lost or compromised away, that nothing be done to weaken the FDA rule to protect children from the marketing and sale of tobacco products or to weaken FDA authority to oversee the tobacco industry. We have consulted with the leadership of the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the American Lung Association in formulating viewpoints for these discussions. Any discussions are at a preliminary stage. There is no agreement. If those who have met can find common ground, that is only the first step. Any proposal must be reviewed by the public health community, the Congress and the American people.