FDA Oversight Of Tobacco Moves Closer To Reality

Legislation Passes Committee, Now Ready for Action on the House Floor

ALBANY, NY (04/02/2008)(readMedia)-- The American Lung Association of New York State, today, commended the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee for taking a positive step in regulating the tobacco industry, by passing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (H.R. 1108). The four members of the New York State Congressional delegation on the committee, Congressmen Edolphus Towns, Eliot Engel, Anthony Weiner and Vito Fossella, all voted in support of this crucial measure.

In particular, Congressmen Towns, Engel and Weiner should be applauded for their leadership and commitment by standing firm against any weakening amendments, which would have diluted this bill as it worked its way through committee.

This vital public health legislation will do a number of things automatically, upon passage; of particular consequence will be implementing extensive marketing restrictions on Big Tobacco, prohibiting the use of terms such as "light" and "low," and banning the sale of candy & fruit-flavored cigarettes. Further, this legislation will grant the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products and to restrict their marketing.

This vote today is an important step for public health; however, it is imperative that the entire New York delegation vote in favor of this legislation, when it is brought before the House and Senate, later this year.