Pro­tect kids, not to­bacco prof­its

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - De­van Og­burn, Upper Marl­boro

As an 18-year-old youth anti-to­bacco ad­vo­cate from Mary­land, I want to thank Sen. Bar­bara Mikul­ski for her lead­er­ship in the fight against to­bacco. Se­na­tor Mikul­ski has sup­ported strong ini­tia­tives to re­duce to­bacco use, in­clud­ing Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion reg­u­la­tion of to­bacco prod­ucts and the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion’s life-sav­ing pro­grams to pre­vent kids from smok­ing and to help smok­ers quit. Th­ese steps have helped re­duce smok­ing to record lows in the United States.

But the to­bacco in­dus­try is fight­ing back, and they’re get­ting sup­port from some mem­bers of Congress. The House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee has passed bills that would weaken FDA over­sight of e-ci­garettes and cigars — prod­ucts that have be­come very pop­u­lar with kids — and cut fund­ing by more than half for the CDC’s anti-to­bacco pro­grams.

For­tu­nately, the Se­nate Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee, with Se­na­tor Mikul­ski serv­ing as vice chair­woman, has re­jected th­ese very harm­ful pro­pos­als. I urge the se­na­tor and all Mary­land mem­bers of Congress to make sure th­ese pro­vi­sions never be­come law. Congress should pro­tect kids, not to­bacco com­pa­nies.

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