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Tobacco is never safe

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There’s no such thing as a safe tobacco product. That’s why Congress passed historic, bipartisan legislation in 2009 to give the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate the production, marketing and sales of all tobacco products. The new law reined in an industry that for far too long targeted kids and adults with misinformation about its deadly products.

All forms of tobacco were covered by the new law, which empowered the FDA to evaluate the safety and public health impact of every tobacco product. But now, some members of Congress are attempting to politicize how tobacco products are regulated by exempting some cigars from regulation under the law. My uncle was a cigar smoker and died from lung cancer.

I strongly agree with the many public health groups who are urging my congressman, Bill Owens, not to co-sponsor cigar exemption legislation. Products containing tobacco cause death and disease, and no tobacco product should be exempted from oversight. On behalf of people with cancer and other tobacco-related illnesses across the country, I urge Rep. Owens to oppose this bill that would threaten public health.

Deborah LaClair

Watertown

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