Quigley Votes to Protect Kids, Families from the Dangers of Tobacco
Washington, DC -- Today, U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) voted to protect our kids and families from the harmful effects of tobacco products. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (H.R. 1256) will grant the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate the advertising, marketing and manufacturing of tobacco products - giving the FDA the tools it needs to better protect the public health. Rep. Quigley made the following statement on the House floor this morning:
"The tobacco industry has been feeding us a line.
In addition to selling tobacco, the industry is now selling us a story.
They would have us believe that this bill, which will allow the FDA to regulate tobacco, will ruin their industry, shut down small farms, and hurt already hurting farmers who just want to earn a living.
The truth is that the tobacco industry has lied for decades about the addictive nature of tobacco.
They have targeted our children as prime consumers of their deadly product, and they have produced and marketed a product that is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, killing an estimated 438,000 people each year.
It's past time to empower the FDA to step up and stop the tobacco companies from continuing to make false claims about tobacco and to start telling the truth.
For too many years the tobacco industry has sold us a line; it has attempted to tell us what they're selling, but in reality the only thing they've been selling us is sickness and death."
"The tobacco industry says their products aren't at fault. Maybe they're right: Cigarettes don't kill people. Smoking them does," Quigley quipped later.
The legislation allows the FDA to develop restrictions on the advertising and promotion of tobacco products. The bill also requires tobacco companies to disclose the ingredients in each product and gives the FDA the power to demand changes to those ingredients. H.R. 1256 requires more specific health warnings and reinstates the 1996 rule restricting the marketing of tobacco products to youth. In order to ensure that the tobacco control provisions meet PAYGO requirements, the bill includes a modified version of H.R. 1804, the Federal Retirement Reform Act, which generates net savings for the federal government.
"The numbers don't lie. Nearly a half-million Americans die from tobacco each year. Another 8.6 million are suffering from chronic illnesses. Children are dying prematurely every day from not just the risks, but the actual harm these products cause," added Rep. Quigley.
The bipartisan bill is supported by more than 1,000 organizations, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Phillip Morris USA, the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company as well as six small tobacco product manufacturers, have also come out in support of the legislation.
H.R. 1256 passed both the House and Senate and is now heading to the White House to be signed into law.
Throughout his career as Cook County Commissioner, Congressman Quigley constantly fought against the dangers of smoking. In 2005, Quigley proposed and passed a county-wide secondhand smoke ban which prohibited smoking indoors throughout the County. The ban set the stage for the Smoke-Free Illinois Act, which officials passed in 2007 to prohibit smoking in public places across the entire State, including places of employment, government vehicles and within 15 feet of any entrance to a public place or workplace. The Respiratory Health Association has recognized Quigley for his work on this issue.