American Lung Association Commemorates World No Tobacco Day by Urging Senate Leaders to Pass the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act

Washington, DC (May 28, 2009)

The American Lung Association joins the World Health Organization (WHO) in calling attention to the global epidemic of death and disease caused by tobacco use on World No Tobacco Day taking place on Sunday, May 31, 2009.

This year, World No Tobacco Day will focus on the urgent need for graphic health warnings to be placed on all tobacco products in order to reduce the deadly impact tobacco use has on the global community. According to the WHO, tobacco use kills 5.4 million people every year and accounts for one in 10 adult deaths worldwide. In the United States, the tobacco caused death toll ends more than 393,000 lives each year. Another 50,000 American deaths are annually attributed to secondhand smoke exposure.

“Graphic warning labels such as those depicting tobacco caused health implications have been shown to encourage smokers to quit and also to reduce the appeal of tobacco products among kids,” said Charles D. Connor, American Lung Association President and CEO.

As cigarette manufacturers aggressively target children with appealing marketing campaigns, compelling warning labels are an incredibly powerful and cost-effective anecdote to the clever marketing tactics employed by the tobacco industry.  

“This is just one of the many reasons why the American Lung Association is fighting for the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act,” said Connor. “In addition to giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority over tobacco products including their marketing and manufacture, this important legislation would require graphic warning labels to be displayed on both the front and back of each pack of cigarettes sold here in the United States.”

The Senate is expected to take up this legislation as early as the first week of June. The American Lung Association urges the American public to join our fight by calling their Senators to let them know how important it is that they pass this legislation quickly. Voters can also take action by visiting the American Lung Association’s LungAction Center at: http://lungaction.org/campaign/warninglabels  

About the American Lung Association
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a Charity Navigator Four Star Charity and holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lung.org