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Letters to the Editor

Lincoln Daily News publishes letters to the editor as they are received.
 The letters are not edited in content and do not necessarily reflect 
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Letters to the Editor
Lincoln Daily News
601 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL  62656

Letters must include the writer's name, telephone number, and postal address or e-mail address (we will not publish address or phone number information). Lincoln Daily News reserves the right to edit letters to reduce their size or to correct obvious errors. Lincoln Daily News reserves the right to reject any letter for any reason. Lincoln Daily News will publish as many acceptable letters as space allows.

Protect our kids' health          Send a link to a friend

To the editor:

On July 15, 2004, the U.S. Senate voted 78-15 to approve legislation that grants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration strong and effective authority to regulate tobacco products. This legislation is a longtime priority of public health advocates and presents a truly historic opportunity to protect our children from tobacco addiction and save lives. Currently, the FDA regulates items such as boxes of macaroni and cheese, as well as nicotine patches and gum, but does not have the authority to regulate tobacco products. Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in our country, killing more than 400,000 people and costing the nation $75 billion in health care costs each year.


[to top of second column in this letter]

In the Senate bill, FDA tobacco authority is paired with a $12 billion buyout of tobacco farmers, which would be paid by tobacco companies. Unfortunately, the U.S. House of Representatives has taken a more harmful approach to tobacco policy that does not include FDA tobacco authority and would have taxpayers foot the bill for a $9.6 billion tobacco farmers buyout. A conference committee will work out the differences between the House and Senate versions when Congress reconvenes in September.

The right choice for Illinois kids, public health and taxpayers is for our U.S. senators and representatives to support the Senate legislation and make sure it is included in the final bill without being weakened. Let's end special protection for the tobacco industry and protect our kids and our health instead.

Harold P. Wimmer, CEO
American Lung Association of Illinois

(posted 8-5-04)

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