American Lung Association Applauds Institute of Medicine Report

Statement of John L. Kirkwood
President and CEO
American Lung Association

New York, NY (May 24, 2007) – A new report from the Institute of Medicine further reinforces the urgent need for Congress to pass legislation giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority over tobacco products. This groundbreaking report, Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation, recognizes the responsibility the federal government must assume if our nation is to reduce the deadly toll of tobacco. The report recommends that Congress give FDA the regulatory authority over the manufacture, distribution, marketing and use of tobacco products.

The report recognizes and recommends strengthening the actions taken by states to increase tobacco taxes, pass comprehensive smokefree workplace laws and fund tobacco control programs at levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, despite these important efforts by states, the IOM committee states, “maintaining our present course will not end the tobacco problem.” Each year, more than 438,000 Americans die from tobacco-caused diseases, including lung cancer and COPD (which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema).

Currently, identical bipartisan bills are pending in the U.S. Senate (S. 625) and House of Representatives (H.R. 1108) that would give the FDA the authority this report calls for. Congress must act quickly and pass this legislation before leaving for its summer recess.




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