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Public Statements

Family Smoking Prevention And Tobacco Control Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PALLONE. I want to thank Chairman Waxman for his tireless work on this tobacco legislation. Madam Speaker, today is long overdue, and he should be so proud of the fact that this is finally passing today and going to the President's desk.

As we pursue serious and historical health care reform, this legislation comes at the right time. Smoking kills. Smoking also is a major cause of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and a host of other illnesses. Almost half a million Americans die from their own cigarette smoking a year. And even more alarming, studies have estimated that more than 6 million children alive today will ultimately die from smoking.

In President Obama's call for health care reform, he cited the need to use our resources wisely and efficiently. Tobacco is a health care issue that taxes and burdens our health care system. The costs to private and public payers are over $96 billion annually. Regulating tobacco products is a win-win for our Nation's health and our need to be fiscally responsible in a time of economic hardship.

This bill will finally give the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products, restrict tobacco marketing, especially the marketing techniques designed to entice and addict our children. They are vulnerable and impressionable, and the tobacco industry exploits that.

I was proud to be an original cosponsor of this bill in the House, and I'm even prouder to vote for this bill today because I know that it is long overdue.

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