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Public Statements

Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act

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Location: Washington, DC


FAMILY SMOKING PREVENTION AND TOBACCO CONTROL ACT -- (House of Representatives - July 30, 2008)

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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Madam Speaker, I rise today in opposition to the bill. And I will tell you, I have great respect for the chairman and the author of the bill, but I respectfully disagree with them on this issue.

I've also served as an active volunteer with the Lung Association and with the Cancer Society and have worked diligently to stop teen smoking, but I disagree with the approach that is being taken here today.

Rather than forcing the ill-equipped FDA to regulate tobacco products, Congress should strengthen existing programs to prevent illegal tobacco use. And now the gentleman from Texas mentioned the Synar program. And I have had a piece of legislation, H.R. 5513, the Stop Adolescent Smoking Without Excessive Bureaucracy Act, that is a better solution and I think a better approach. It strengthens the existing work that the States and localities are doing to reduce underage tobacco use. It is an effective existing program.

My bill directly impacts youth access to tobacco products, which gets to the very root of the public health crisis that is brought about by the addiction of tobacco.

According to a recent Zogby poll, a majority of Americans, 82 percent, believe FDA control of tobacco would conflict with their core mission to secure the Nation's food and drug supply. And Madam Speaker, at a time when people are concerned about imported and domestic food, imported and domestic drugs, medical devices, and more, it is important that the FDA focus on that mission.

Consumers believe FDA product approval equals safety. And here we are talking about moving FDA control of tobacco and tobacco products and giving that the FDA seal of approval. I think that is a step we do not want to take.

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