Jul. 25 2001
Washington, DC — A coalition of tobacco farmers and public health advocates from tobacco growing states descended on Capitol Hill today to advocate for comprehensive reform of federal tobacco policy to help tobacco farmers and communities facing "an unprecedented economic crisis." During a press conference in front of the U.S. Capitol and in meetings with lawmakers, the coalition of groups recommended replacing the current tobacco quota system with production permits to be held only by active growers, compensating quota owners and growers for the loss in value of their quota assets and providing other economic transition assistance as was set forth in a report released by a Presidential Commission this past May.
The report also recommended steps to protect the public health, including granting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate tobacco products.
The coalition is made up of the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the Burley Tobacco Growers Co-op, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Flue-Cured Tobacco Stabilization Cooperative.
In a joint letter to Members of Congress, the five groups called the recommendations of the Presidential commission "the best and possibly the last real opportunity to help our tobacco growers while improving the health of our rural communities." The letter states, "It is precisely because of this unique alliance that we believe that we can garner the support necessary for passage of the Commission's recommendations in their entirety."
Get more information about the recommendations of the President's Commission.