TFK Asks: Why is Rep. Tom Davis Sponsoring Legislation That Protects Big Tobacco Instead of Our Kids?
WASHINGTON, June 26 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The CAMPAIGN FOR
TOBACCO-FREE KIDS today criticized U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) for
introducing legislation that does more to protect the tobacco
industry than the American public. It is particularly disturbing
In a letter to Congress, the CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS, the
American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the
American Lung Association stated: "In short, this bill, if enacted,
would do more harm than good. That is why every major public health
organization in the country opposes the bill." These groups say the
bill would allow the tobacco companies to continue marketing to
kids and deceiving the public about their products. As a result,
3,000 kids would continue to become addicted every day and 400,000
Americans would continue to die each year of tobacco-caused
Public health groups support another bill, H.R. 1097, introduced
by U.S. Reps. Greg Ganske (R-Iowa), John Dingell (D-Minn.) and Henry
Waxman (D-Calif.). Both bills concern granting the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) authority to regulate tobacco products. But
public health groups say only the Ganske bill would allow the FDA
to restrict tobacco marketing and sales to kids and require the
reduction or elimination of harmful constituents in tobacco
"It is unfortunate that Congressman Davis has introduced
legislation that protects the tobacco industry instead of our
kids," said Matthew L. Myers, President of the CAMPAIGN FOR
TOBACCO-FREE KIDS. "We are deeply disappointed by what appears to
be Rep. Davis' decision to put political cash ahead of the health
of our kids."
"If current trends continue, 135,000 Virginia kids alive today
will die prematurely of tobacco-related illness. If Congressman
Davis wants to help reverse these trends, he should take his name
off of Philip Morris' bill and join us in supporting real FDA
authority over tobacco. If he does, he can help save lives, and
Virginia's kids will be the winners instead of the tobacco
industry," Myers said.
To thwart effective public health policies, the tobacco industry
has made more than $26.7 million in campaign contributions at the
federal level since 1995. Philip Morris has given the most of any
tobacco company, including $2.3 million in unregulated "soft money"
during the most recent election.