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AMA Stands with President Obama at Historic Bill Signing on Tobacco Regulation

“Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act” promotes disease prevention and healthy lifestyles

For immediate release:
June 22, 2009

Statement attributable to:
J. James Rohack, MD
AMA President

“As long-time advocates for strong regulation of the tobacco industry, the AMA is honored to stand with President Obama today as he signs the historic tobacco law. Today’s historic bill signing is a victory for public health over Big Tobacco.

“More than 400,000 Americans die needlessly every year as a direct result of tobacco use. The actions resulting from this new law may make people think twice before picking up a cigarette. The sad truth is that tobacco-related deaths are the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S. Physicians are working not only to treat diseases like cancer and heart disease that result from tobacco use, but to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

“The new law represents an important break from the past, as it signifies broad acceptance that nicotine is a drug harmful to people’s health. Tobacco companies will now have to disclose ingredients and use stronger warning labels.

“New bans on all outdoor tobacco advertising within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds and on tobacco-brand sponsorships of sports and entertainment events will help keep tobacco advertising away from kids. Approximately 1,000 kids become new, regular smokers every day. These new marketing restrictions can help keep our kids away from cigarettes so they can become healthy adults.”

“With this bill signing, President Obama has again demonstrated his commitment to disease prevention and healthy lifestyles, which are both vital parts of the overall health reform the AMA is working for this year.”

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Contact:

Kate Cox
AMA Media Relations
312-464-4443

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