Tell Congress: No Backroom Deals for Tobacco and Polluters | American Lung Association

Tell Congress: No Backroom Deals for Tobacco and Polluters

Children in front of The Hill

Quick Background

It's Congress' job to pass bills to fund the federal government. But some members of Congress are taking advantage of the process. They want to attach dangerous policy provisions—called riders—to these important bills that would benefit polluters and the tobacco industry. We need you to call on your 3 members of Congress to oppose these backroom deals.

Learn more:

  • What the Heck Is a "Rider"?
    This summer, we saw scores of riders added to proposed funding bills. Learn exactly what a rider is, and how many of them would endanger our health by cutting protections for the air we breathe, in this blog post.
  • Stop the Cigar Lobbyists' Back Room Deal
    The tobacco industry has gotten away without being accountable to anyone for so many years – thanks in large part to their buddies in Congress – they think they should continue to do so today. And that's what the tobacco industry is trying to do now with not one but TWO parasitic riders. Learn more in this blog post.

Why It's Important

Congress is considering a number of riders that would harm lung health, including:

Tobacco

  • Dramatically weaken FDA's rule to protect kids from all tobacco products, including cigars and e-cigarettes, by "grandfathering" in all existing e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah, pipe tobacco, and cigarillos. This would mean that candy-flavored tobacco products like cotton candy would be on the market indefinitely. It also means manufacturers wouldn’t have to disclose or remove dangerous chemicals – like diacetyl – from their products.    
  • Another rider – added at the behest of the cigar industry – would exempt certain cigars from all FDA authority – even cigars that cost as little as $1.00 and come in candy-flavors.  It would stop FDA from requiring warning labels on cigars or ensuring that kids can’t buy these cigars in stores.

Air Pollution

  • Delay more protective limits on ozone pollution for at least eight years, resulting in years of premature deaths and asthma attacks that could have been prevented.
  • Make it easier to burn biomass for electricity, which emits dangerous pollution.
  • Prohibit the federal government from accounting for the costs of climate change in its planning.
  • Block standards that would reduce emissions of methane from the oil and gas industry. Methane drives climate change, and reductions in methane would also reduce other pollutants from the industry that harm health.

Send an Email Opposing Riders!

Call your members of Congress today!

  • To have an even greater impact, please take a few minutes to call your 2 U.S. senators and 1 U.S. House member today and ask them to oppose backroom deals that will benefit polluters and the tobacco industry at the expense of our health.

How to Call Your 3 Representatives in Washington

Find the names and phone numbers of your elected officials in Washington by visiting action.lung.org/findyourmembers and typing in your zip code.

What to Say When You Call

  • My name is [INSERT NAME] and I'm calling from [INSERT NAME OF CITY/TOWN].
  • I'm calling to urge [Senator [NAME]/Representative [NAME]] to oppose all riders on spending bills.
  • I'm especially concerned about riders that would harm our health by weakening protections against tobacco and air pollution.
  • [PLEASE SHARE A BRIEF PERSONAL STORY ABOUT HOW TOBACCO, AIR POLLUTION, OR LUNG DISEASE HAVE AFFECTED YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.]
  • Can I count on [Senator [NAME]/Representative [NAME]] to oppose dangerous riders on spending bills?
  • Thank you.

Invite a Friend!

The more people Congress hears from, the more they'll listen. Invite your friends and family to take action.

And join the conversation on social media—use the hashtag #NoRiders.


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