Today Congressman Peter Roskam voted in favor of H.R. 1256, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The House passed H.R. 1256 by a vote of 307-97, clearing it for President Obama's signature into law. This bipartisan legislation will provide the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with greater abilities to prevent underage tobacco use.
"Underage tobacco use is not just illegal but it's addicting, dangerous and destructive," said Congressman Peter Roskam. "While more government is often not the answer, this bipartisan legislation will allow the FDA to substantively reduce underage tobacco use - and less kids smoking is always a positive."
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act will reduce the numbers of underage tobacco smokers by 11% over the next ten years. The National Institutes of Health has estimated that every day 4,000 teens smoke their first cigarette. Nearly half of those teens will become regular, daily smokers.
Tobacco use accounts for at least 30% of all cancer deaths, which is the second most common cause of death in the United States.
Every year, nearly 450,000 Americans die due to smoking-related causes, making cigarette use the leading cause of preventable death in the United States in 2008.
Roughly one in five high school students reports being a current cigarette smoker.
H.R. 1256 bans the color retail advertising and candy flavor additives that are used to entice teens to smoke and requires new, larger warning labels on cigarette packs to continue efforts to educate young people about the dangers of tobacco use.