American Lung Association Statement on House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Action to Undermine Tobacco Control Act
(April 19, 2016) - CHICAGO
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Statement of Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association:
"The American Lung Association is deeply disappointed that the House Appropriations Committee voted in favor of an amendment today that would grandfather in thousands of unregulated tobacco products currently on the market, including e-cigarettes, little cigars and hookah. This provision would significantly weaken FDA's authority over these unregulated tobacco products and open the door to candy-flavored products marketed to kids for years to come.
"While the Committee's discussion was focused on e-cigarettes, the amendment would affect all unregulated tobacco products, including cigars, little cigars, hookah, cigarillos and e-cigarettes. The provision will take away FDA's authority to review the health harms of the thousands of brands of these tobacco products—many flavored like fruit, bubble gum and gummi bears—from basic pre-market review. All Americans, and especially our children, deserve basic protections from these unregulated products.
"The Committee also voted to keep in a rider that would hold hostage the 'deeming' regulation unless FDA explicitly carves out certain cigars from the final regulation—including cigars that are machine-made and as inexpensive as $1.00. All tobacco products cause death and disease and must be regulated by the FDA.
"The dangerous riders added to this bill for the tobacco industry comes at a time when e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among kids. These disappointing provisions show that too many in Congress are still willing to prioritize Big Tobacco over the health of our nation, particularly young people who will become the next generation of addicted smokers and tobacco users.
For media interested in speaking with an expert about e-cigarettes, tobacco use and lung health, contact the American Lung Association at Media@Lung.org or 312-801-7628.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.