Three Cheers for a Healthier America!

Yesterday, the President signed into law a bill that will do more for our health than healthcare reform will ever do, The Tobacco Bill (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/23/us/politics/23obama.html?_r=1). Cigarette smoking causes over 400,000 deaths a year from cancer, heart disease, and pulmonary diseases (the lack of healthcare insurance contributes to 19,000 deaths a year). It is the number one avoidable cause of death in the USA! Incredibly, the healthcare costs come to $40 for every pack of cigarettes sold (22 billion packs sold in USA each year)! That’s a cost all of us bare, not just the smokers. This may be hard to believe in this day and age, but 20% of Americans still smoke! It goes to show you how strong the tobacco industry is. They’ve been allowed to manipulate nicotine to addictive levels in a product that kills 400,000 people a year. To me, that’s murder.

Tobacco products are under federal control for the first time and one aim is to keep children from starting to smoke. Tobacco companies tailor their products and advertisements to children who must start smoking to replace the 400,000 who die each year. The new law, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, allows the Food and Drug Administration not only to forbid advertising geared toward children but also to lower the amount of nicotine in tobacco products, ban sweetened cigarettes that appeal to young taste buds and prohibit labels like “light” and “low tar.”

So, three cheers for Congress for finally stepping up to the plate for a healthier America!!

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