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Blackburn Introduces Legislation to Stop Youth Smoking

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Blackburn Introduces Legislation To Stop Youth Smoking
Bill Stops Adolescent Smoking Without Adding To Bureaucracy

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today introduced legislation designed to prevent adolescent smoking. The "Stop Adolescent Smoking Without Excessive Bureaucracy Act of 2008" strengthens existing work that local governments are doing to reduce minor access to tobacco products. Blackburn, who was joined by Reps Jean Schmidt (R-OH), John Shadegg (R-AZ), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Tom Feeney (R-FL), Howard Coble (R-NC), Mary Fallin (R-OK), Pete Sessions( R-TX), and Patrick McHenry (R-NC) in sponsoring her bill, made the following remarks about the legislation.

"Rather than continuing to fight a decade-long battle to force the FDA to regulate tobacco products, this is a good government approach to a significant social challenge. My bill builds on a proven program with a record of success and strengthens current law."

More on "Stop Adolescent Smoking Without Excessive Bureaucracy Act"

* Youth Protection: Congressman Blackburn's legislation strengthens the Synar Amendment program of 1992- the most successful and effective federal-state tobacco control partnership yet. Synar mandated an 80% compliance rate of preventing tobacco sales to minors. The Blackburn bill will raise that compliance rate to 90% over the next 10 years.

* Enhanced Cessation Efforts: The Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) provided funds to states for tobacco control and cessation efforts. Many states use these funds for other programs. The Blackburn bill encourages states to spend MSA funds properly.

* Real Consequences: If a state does not achieve at least a 90% compliance rate and spend at least 10% of MSA payments on tobacco related projects, the Secretary of Health and Human Services has the option to withhold Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant funding.

* Consumer Education: The Blackburn bill increases consumer awareness and industry transparency. The legislation requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to post tobacco product ingredients on the HHS website within 48 hours.

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