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  • Edición impresa de Julio 7, 2009.

INDIANAPOLIS – On Monday, June 22, 2009, as President Obama signed into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the Indiana Latino Institute, Inc.’s President and CEO, Aida McCammon was present to witness this historical event.

This piece of legislation is monumental at many levels. It was 45 years ago that the U.S.

Surgeon General reported findings that the use of tobacco produces cancer. Then it took 14 years of negotiations for members of Congress with support from health advocates to bring forth legislation that would give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate tobacco products. Finally in June 2009 we witness the final passage of a bill that will protect children, educate consumers of the dangers of smoking and give the FDA authority to regulate tobacco.

Highlights of what the new law covers:

• Each packet of cigarettes will disclose all ingredients and additives

• It bans candy flavoring in cigarettes

• It bans billboard advertising within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds

• It will restrict Youth –Focused Marketing

• It will prohibit marketing measures misleading consumers (ex. Using “light, low or mild”

on tobacco products)

• It will display new Warning Labels in each cigarette pack by July 2011 with information

and graphics depicting health risks of smoking

Is it a comprehensive law that addresses all issues? No, but it is a wonderful start which opens the doors for the federal government to control and regulate tobacco and nicotine, the addictive drug in cigarettes. This law allows advocates to achieve a victory, but there is much to be done to improve culturally and linguistically appropriate prevention, education and cessation services for Latino communities. ILI has been advocating for 8 years to de normalize cigarette use, promote quitting, and protect communities from the dangers of second hand smoke. Representing ILI and the National Latino Tobacco Control Network (NLTCN), Mrs. McCammon was proud and honored to be invited as a guest in the White House to witness a turning point in tobacco control and an achievement which will impact the public’s health.

 

 

 


 

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