Today, the Senate passed the Family Smoking and Tobacco Control Act, which has enjoyed broad, bipartisan support in both houses of Congress. Once the legislation is returned to the House for final passage, it will make history by giving the scientists and medical experts at the FDA the power to take sensible steps that will reduce tobacco's harmful effects and prevent tobacco companies from marketing their products to children.
Each year, Americans pay nearly $100 billion in added health care costs due to smoking. Each day, about 1,000 young people under the age of 18 become regular smokers. And at any given moment, millions are struggling with their habit or worrying about loved ones who smoke. My administration is committed to protecting our children and reforming our health care system - and moving forward with common-sense tobacco control measures is an integral part of that process. I look forward to signing this bill into law, and to working with HHS Secretary Sebelius and FDA Commissioner Hamburg on its implementation.