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Public Health Groups Support Ganske-Dingell Effort to Secure Vote on Granting FDA Authority over Tobacco

April 13, 2000

Washington, DC — Contacts: Vince Willmore, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (202-296-5469); Kelly Kennai, American Heart Association (202-785-7900); Roger Salazar, American Cancer Society (202-661-5710); Diane Maple, American Lung Association (202-785-3355)

We support the efforts of Representatives Ganske and Dingell to secure congressional approval of legislation to grant the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco products. The markup of the children's health bill scheduled for Thursday in the House Commerce Subcommittee on Health and Environment provides an excellent opportunity for such action.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently called tobacco use the nation's most serious public health threat, especially among children and adolescents. So it is appropriate that Congress take action to address this issue in the context of a bill to improve the health of our nation's children. We are encouraged by the efforts of Representatives Ganske and Dingell to secure a vote on this critical issue, whether now on this legislation or on a date certain in the near future. Every day that Congress fails to act, 3,000 more kids become regular smokers, and 1,000 of them will die prematurely as a result.