-- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE --
June 20, 2009
Contact: Foundation for a Smokefree America, Los Angeles
Contact: Patrick Reynolds Cell (310)880-1111
ON MONDAY, JUNE 22, OBAMA WILL SIGN BILL FOR
FDA REGULATION OF TOBACCO IN THE ROSE GARDEN
-- GRANDSON OF RJ REYNOLDS A LONGTIME PROPONENT --
On Monday, President Obama will sign the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in the Rose Garden. The bill provides for FDA regulation of tobacco, and will give the FDA new powers to regulate ingredients in tobacco products, and reduce, but not eliminate, nicotine. It will also ban candy flavorings and labeling such as “low tar” and “light,” which imply reduced health risk. The bill also requires cigarette packs to carry graphic warning labels on 50% of both the front and back faces of all cigarette packages.
Mr. Reynolds says, “After 11 years of sidelining this bill, Congress has at last finalized strong new legislation to bring about FDA regulation of tobacco.
"In past years, Big Tobacco was able to stop this bill through generous campaign contributions, well-connected lobbyists and the seniority of tobacco-state lawmakers, such as the late Jesse Helms (R-NC).
“The passage of the bill marks the diminished clout of the tobacco lobby on the Hill. This is a great day for our children, and for public health.
“The new limits on advertising will no doubt invite lawsuits from smaller tobacco makers, who will invoke First Amendment protection. Free speech has been used as a defense of tobacco advertising in the past.
“The new large graphic warnings on 50% of both the front and backs of cigarette packs will deter thousands of kids from starting. These images will also be a powerful warning to smokers about the diseases smoking causes. Our side will fight to insure the FDA's limits on advertising are here to stay."
Patrick Reynolds became an outspoken opponent of Big Tobacco after his father, RJ Reynolds Jr., died from emphysema caused by smoking the same brands which made his family wealthy, Camel and Winston. A longtime advocate for FDA regulation of tobacco, Mr. Reynolds met with the bill's co-sponsor, Rep. Henry Waxman, in Washington in March, in support of the bill. Mr. Reynolds is Executive Director of the Foundation for a Smokefree America, and a grandson of tobacco company founder R.J. Reynolds.
His bio is at www.Anti-smoking.org/bio
Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on President Obama’s schedule for this week:
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