Activists To Policy Makers: Protect Kids Before Tobacco Industry Profits

New Web Site, KidsBeforeProfits.org, Allows Concerned Citizens to Contact Candidates and Elected Officials About Tobacco Prevention

Sep. 16 2002

Washington, DC — Public health advocates launched a new web site today, KidsBeforeProfits.org, through which concerned citizens across the county can urge elected officials and candidates for office to put the health and welfare of kids over tobacco industry profits. Noting that 2,000 kids become regular smokers every day, one-third of whom will die prematurely as a result, the website calls for a host of tobacco prevention policies.

KidsBeforeProfits.org provides concerned citizens with an opportunity to counter Big Tobacco's lobbying and campaign contributions by contacting current elected officials and those running for public office to let them know that they care deeply about the issue of kids and tobacco. It focuses on actions that can be taken by governors and U.S. senators.

"The tobacco industry spends $26 million a day to make their deadly products more attractive and accessible to young people and spends millions each year on lobbying and campaign contributions to thwart effective policy changes," said William V. Corr, Executive VicePresident of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "This website, which is the first of its kind, gives the vast majority of Americans who support measures that protect our kids from tobacco a chance to counter Big Tobacco's millions. They can reach directly to candidates for Governor and the U.S. Senate and urge them to put kids' health before the tobacco industry's profits."

KidsBeforeProfits.org does not support or oppose the election of any candidate but allows visitors to send letters in both English and Spanish urging support for four important tobacco prevention initiatives to protect kids and save lives: increasing funding for state prevention programs; increasing state cigarette taxes; giving the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco products; and supporting the federal lawsuit that seeks to hold the tobacco industry accountable for its harmful business practices.

"We know what works to protect kids from tobacco, but now we need the political will to enact these policies," Corr said. "States that have adequately funded prevention programs or raised the cigarette tax have dramatically reduced smoking, especially among kids. And we know that FDA authority and the federal lawsuit will help end the tobacco industry's harmful practices that kill 400,000 people every year and addict 2,000 more kids every day. KidsBeforeProfits.org will counter the tobacco industry's lobbying and campaign contributions by educating policymakers and demanding change."

 

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