Dingell on Tobacco

Apr 1, 2009 Issues: Health Care

Washington, DC - Congressman John D. Dingell (D-MI15) made the following statement on H.R. 1256, the “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act”:

“I rise in strong support of HR 1256, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.  This historic legislation will grant the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco products.  Aside from a few technical changes, H.R. 1256 is identical to the legislation Chairman Waxman and I worked hard together to pass in the House last year.

“This legislation is long overdue:

“In 1957, Surgeon General Leroy Burney declared the causal link between smoking and lung cancer. 

“In 1964, Surgeon General Luther Terry’s Report proclaimed that cigarette smoking is a health hazard of sufficient importance in the United States to warrant appropriate remedial action. Today, fifty-two years after the cancer link was established, forty-five years after the call for remedial action, we are finally poised to regulate this lethal product. 

“H.R. 1256 creates a fully-funded separate tobacco center at FDA to regulate tobacco products. The FDA is the appropriate scientific and regulatory agency to provide this oversight.  Through a user fee on tobacco products, FDA will have the resources to implement this legislation and the legislation segregates the tobacco center and its funding from other FDA programs.

“The FDA needs more resources and greater authority to meet its other obligations with respect to food, drugs, devices and cosmetics. My colleagues, Mr. Pallone and Mr. Stupak, and I have introduced legislation to address this need.  To my colleagues who are concerned with FDA’s lack of resources, I invite you to join us in this effort. 

“Each year, tobacco use kills more than 400,000 people.  The American people need assurance that their food and medical products are safe.  But they also need meaningful oversight of tobacco products. This Congress can deliver both.

“I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of H.R. 1256.”