Sen. Feinstein's National Cancer Act… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Sen. Feinstein's National Cancer Act of 2002 Recognizes That Tobacco Prevention is Cancer Prevention

Statement by Matthew L. Myers President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
February 27, 2002

Washington, DC — The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids applauds Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and her co-sponsors for including important tobacco prevention and control measures in the comprehensive National Cancer Act of 2002 that they introduced today. The legislation would grant the U.S. Food and Drug Administration meaningful authority over tobacco products and improve access to smoking cessation therapies and services. This bill is a powerful statement that our nation will not succeed in reducing the devastating effects of cancer on America's families without reducing tobacco use. Smoking is responsible for nearly one third of all cancer deaths and 90 percent of lung cancer cases. Among women, while rates of all other cancers have either declined or remained the same, rates of lung cancer have skyrocketed, and lung cancer today is the leading cancer killer among women.

Senator Feinstein's legislation would provide FDA with the authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing and sale of all tobacco products. By, among other things, cracking down on marketing and sales to children, requiring the elimination or reduction of carcinogens and other dangerous chemicals, and regulating harmful or deceptive health claims, the FDA could reduce the tremendous harm, including cancer, caused by tobacco products. In addition, this legislation would offer opportunities for smokers to take advantage of the latest cessation techniques and drug therapies to quit smoking.

Two years ago, the United States Supreme Court called tobacco use the nation's most significant public health threat, particularly for children and adolescents, and made clear that the obligation to act falls squarely on Congress. There cannot be any meaningful reduction in the alarming toll of death and disease caused by tobacco use, including tobacco-caused cancer, until Congress finally grants the FDA effective authority to regulate tobacco products. The bottom line is that the nation's war on cancer cannot be won without enacting the tobacco provisions of Senator Feinstein's legislation.