Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), a leader in the fight against international tobacco, and Mark Palmer, former U.S. ambassador to Hungary and Vice Chair of the Center for Communications, Health and the Environment joined today with Bay Area anti-smoking activists to draw attention to the attack on the international provisions in existing tobacco legislation. "How can we possibly say smoking is bad for our kids but O.K. for children in other countries?," Pelosi said.
The international provisions include ending U.S. government support for tobacco abroad, adequately funding global non-governmental tobacco control efforts, requiring product labeling overseas, and fighting tobacco smuggling. "I will strongly support the efforts of my colleagues Senator Durbin, and Congressmen Doggett and Fazio and others to promote better international tobacco policy. Tobacco legislation must include provisions to protect young people around the world," Pelosi said.
Rep. Pelosi also announced that next week she would introduce legislation expressing the Sense of Congress that the Administration and Federal agencies should participate vigorously and dedicate funds towards the International Framework Convention for Tobacco Control. "In the long term we must work with other countries to control tobacco promotion. Our most important step, however, is to enact strong international provisions in tobacco legislation," Pelosi said.
The international health costs of tobacco promotion and use are staggering. Of all the people alive today, tobacco is expected to kill 500 million, including more than 200 million of today's children and teenagers. "Today, the Marlboro Man is America's most visible ambassador to young people around the world. We can, and must, set a better example," Pelosi said.
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