Statement from American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown on Publication of FDA Rule Prohibiting Sales and Marketing of Tobacco to Children
Washington, DC (March 18, 2010) - The new Food and Drug Administration rule is an important step towards breaking the cycle of addiction and preventing children from developing a deadly habit. Too often, children are swayed by insidious marketing campaigns from the tobacco industry that encourage them to adopt a destructive lifestyle. About 3,500 children a day smoke their first cigarette – more than the total population of many small towns and municipalities -- and about 1,100 become new, regular daily smokers. This rule will prohibit the sale, distribution and marketing of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to youth and put an end to certain marketing gimmicks used by the industry to sell and promote cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products to children. Cigarette advertising and promotional expenditures have more than doubled over the last decade and much of this increase has been used to reach children and teens in places such as convenience stores and magazines. Cigarette smoking dramatically increases the risk for heart disease and stroke with one-third of smoking related deaths linked to cardiovascular disease. Millions of children who begin a lifelong smoking habit will eventually die prematurely and put the health of their loved ones at risk. We’re gratified that the regulation, which implements part of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, will help children lead healthier lives and curb the tobacco industry’s campaign to recruit young smokers.
Contact: Suzanne Ffolkes
Director of Media Advocacy