Congress: support FDA and CDC efforts to reduce tobacco use
BCHC signed on to a letter led by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids urging the House and Senate Appropriations Committee to ensure the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) retains its full authority to oversee tobacco products and that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) receives necessary resources to protect kids from tobacco products and reduce tobacco-related disease.
Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., responsible for 480,000 deaths and $241 billion in health care costs each year. Preventing youth from starting to use tobacco products and helping adults who use tobacco to quit improves health, saves lives, and reduces the financial burden that tobacco use imposes on families, employers, and governments. But provisions in House appropriations bills would undercut eﬀorts by FDA and CDC to reduce tobacco use.
The House Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies appropriations bill would prevent FDA from issuing rules that would remove menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars from the market and reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes. FDA should be allowed to use the oversight authority it was given under the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, follow the science, and implement these rules to protect the public’s health. The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill would also eliminate funding for CDC’s Oﬃce on Smoking and Health. Under the House bill, CDC would no longer be able to provide funding to states to implement evidence-based programs to prevent youth use of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. States would no longer receive federal support for state quitlines, which help people who use tobacco to quit. And CDC would not have the resources to continue its highly eﬀective national public awareness campaign, Tips from Former Smokers, which helped approximately one million people who smoke to quit, prevented 129,100 smoking-related deaths, and saved an estimated $7.3 billion in health care costs from 2012 through 2018.
We urge Congress to not include provisions that would prevent FDA from moving forward with rules on menthol cigarettes, flavored cigars, and reduced nicotine levels in cigarettes and to ensure that CDC’s Oﬃce on Smoking and Health at a minimum maintains current funding levels.
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