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Massachusetts Bill to Require Tobacco Constituent Disclosure Is Important Step in Protecting Public Health

Statement of Matthew L. Myers Is Important Step in Protecting Public Health
March 06, 2004

Washington, DC — The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids strongly supports legislation introduced by Massachusetts State Senator Mark Montigny to require tobacco manufacturers to annually disclose to the state the additives, toxic constituents and nicotine levels in tobacco products and tobacco smoke. In the absence of federal regulation of tobacco products, this bill would provide critical information to state officials seeking to protect the health of the citizens of Massachusetts from the deadly consequences of tobacco use. It would strip tobacco companies of the special cloak of secrecy they currently enjoy and provide the state Department of Health with important information it needs to take action to protect public health.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death nationally and in Massachusetts. Nationally, tobacco use kills more than 400,000 people and costs the nation more than $75 billion a year in health care costs. In Massachusetts, tobacco use kills some 9,000 people and costs the state $2.8 billion each year in health care costs. The tobacco product disclosures and regulations contained in Senator Montigny’s bill are critical to reducing tobacco’s terrible toll in health, lives and money. We applaud Senator Montigny for his leadership on this important issue.