Letter from Sen. Lugar

In Local News, National News, State News on June 9, 2009 at 9:39 am

Here is a letter from Sen. Richard Lugar I received yesterday after I mailed him a letter support FDA regulation of tobacco. There is one inaccuracy: Sen. Lugar states that the smoking rate is 27% in Indiana. The work of ITPC has actually lowered that to 24% in recent years. But we are still over the national average.

Dear Ms. Petty:

Thank you for contacting me to express you support for legislation that would allow the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products. I am an original co-sponsor of this legislation.

While tobacco products cannot be made safe, I believe it is important that consumers are aware of the potential health consequences of products they purchase and use, as well as uncertain claims that one product may be less detrimental to one’s health than another.

I do not smoke and have long been involved in efforts to encourage Hoosiers and all Americans to adopt healthy lifestyles. Unfortunately, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Hoosiers are less healthy in this particular area than average Americans. Twenty-seven percent of Hoosiers over 18 smoke, while the national average is 21%.

Over the years, I have co-sponsored bills to ban smoking in public transportation, federal buildings, and child care programs. I have supported increased taxes on tobacco products and worked to end federal involvement in the growing of tobacco. The government has sent mixed signals on this issue for years, and it is time that we take steps to clearly state the harmful effects of tobacco use. Again, thank you for sharing your support with me.

Richard G. Lugar
United States Senator


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