President Obama signs bill giving FDA power to regulate tobacco - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

President Obama signs bill giving FDA power to regulate tobacco

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President Obama signs the nation's strongest-ever anti-smoking measure President Obama signs the nation's strongest-ever anti-smoking measure
Governor Chris Gregoire Governor Chris Gregoire

WASHINGTON. - President Barack Obama has signed the nation's strongest-ever anti-smoking measure. Standing in the Rose Garden with lawmakers and other guests, Obama declared: "It is a law that will save American lives."

The legislation gives the Food and Drug Administration unprecedented authority to regulate tobacco and cigarette marketing including how products are manufactured and marketed.

Children from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids joined the president in the Rose Garden as he cited some startling statistics, including one showing that one out of every five children in our Country will start smoking before leaving high school.

President Obama also referenced his own struggle with cigarettes.

"I know, I was one of these teenagers, and so I know how difficult it can be to break this habit when it's been with you for a long time," said Obama.

More than 400,000 Americans die of tobacco-related illnesses each year making them the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

More than 8 million Americans suffer from at least one serious illness caused by smoking, which costs the U.S. More than $100 billion per year.

Gov. Chris Gregoire released the following statement on the signing by President Obama of legislation that gives the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco products:

"Curbing tobacco use among children and adults has been one of the driving forces of my career, going back to my days as state attorney general. I couldn't be more pleased that President Obama signed legislation today that gives the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco products. Given that tobacco use kills an estimated 400,000 Americans and costs the nation roughly $96 billion in health care bills each year, it is critically important that the FDA regulates tobacco in the same way it regulates nearly every other product we consume.

"I am very proud of the work we've done in Washington to decrease tobacco use. Today, Washington has the fifth-lowest smoking rate in the nation, and youth smoking has declined by half since 1999. I have been and remain committed to working to further cut our smoking rate in Washington, and am happy our president is equally resolved to curtail the use of tobacco."

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