Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
had the following reactions to surprising news from Geneva that the United States
will change its position and will now support the Framework Convention on Tobacco
Control (FCTC). The Leaders recently wrote President Bush to express concerns
about attempts by his Administration to weaken the Framework Convention on Tobacco
Control by imposing the agenda of Big Tobacco companies during negotiations.
"Late last week, the Senate unanimously approved an historic commitment to fight the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. The FCTC provides us with an equally powerful tool to combat the epidemic of tobacco use, which experts estimate claims nearly five million lives each year," Daschle said.
"Continued opposition by the United States would have been detrimental to the effectiveness of this treaty. I commend the Administration for announcing that the United States will support the adoption of the treaty by the World Health Assembly. It is a strong step toward stemming the tide of tobacco related death and illness worldwide," added Daschle.
"I commend Secretary Thompson for this announcement and welcome his statement that this support is without reservation. The United States must be a leader in preventing the nearly 5 million deaths that occur each year from tobacco by promoting the proven pubic health interventions supported in this treaty -- health warning labels, education campaigns, and limits on tobacco promotion. The next step is for President Bush to speak out in support of the treaty and for the Administration to support its effective implementation," Pelosi said.
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