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American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown Says First Anniversary of FDA Tobacco Law Ushers in Important New Regulations to Protect Americans From Tobacco Use

Saturday, June 19, 2010 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, June 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown:

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The one-year anniversary of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act brings new consumer protections that will make it increasingly difficult for the tobacco industry to recruit the next Marlboro man, woman or child.  With many important provisions already in effect, we can celebrate the lives we have saved with rules restricting Big Tobacco's deceptive marketing practices, particularly towards children.  The ban on candy and fruit-flavored cigarettes has brought a halt to the industry's shameful campaign to entice children with harmful products and increase their risk for heart disease, stroke and other chronic illnesses. And the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now has the regulatory muscle to hold the industry accountable and ensure that children are no longer a primary target of Big Tobacco's advertising juggernaut.  New color-coded cigarette packages and other manipulative products on the market intended to circumvent the ban on terms such as "light," "mild," and "low-tar" on cigarette labels will not disguise the fact that tobacco is lethal and must be treated as such. 

The American Heart Association wholeheartedly supports the FDA's efforts to enforce the law and move swiftly to implement several critical provisions including those taking effect on Tuesday, June 22, the first anniversary of the law.  Among them, the ban on "light," "mild," "low-tar" and similar descriptors in all advertising, labeling and marketing of existing cigarettes and smokeless products;  larger, stronger warning labels required on all smokeless tobacco packages and in ads; and new regulations that severely restrict the marketing of tobacco products to children.  These new rules will support the association's goals to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by the year 2020 and reduce heart disease and stroke death rates linked to tobacco use.

We continue to applaud Congress and the Administration for taking bold action with enactment of this historic legislation.  However, more work lies ahead of us.  All Americans must have access to comprehensive smoking prevention and cessation programs in their communities that are adequately funded, and state legislation to increase tobacco excise taxes and establish smoke-free workplaces must be enacted.  This anniversary should be a celebratory occasion as well as an opportunity to redouble our efforts to make our nation 100 percent smoke-free.

SOURCE American Heart Association

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