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PNS Daily Newscast - October 20, 2020 

GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander comes to the defense of Dr. Anthony Fauci; the NAACP goes to bat over student debt and Election 2020.

2020Talks - October 20, 2020 

Early voting starts in Florida, and North Carolina allows election officials to start the ballot curing process. Plus, Trump's attacks on Dr. Fauci.

Ready to Quit Yet?

April 3, 2009

Salem, OR - American consumers of tobacco might want to quit the habit in the wake of several new anti-smoking measures. On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, bringing Congress a step closer to federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation of tobacco products. Also, this week, a federal tobacco tax hike of 62 cents per pack went into effect, and Oregon is considering raising its tax another 60 cents.

Dana Kaye, executive director of the American Lung Association, says this time, the economic crisis may have tipped the scales against smoking.

"The ability to decrease youth initiation is going to impact the budget. I think that might be something that we’re focusing on as a nation; the future of our nation and the ability to have a reduced cost for healthcare."

If the Tobacco Control Act becomes law, adds Kaye, the FDA would not be able to ban tobacco products, but could keep them from being marketed to children, and make the tobacco companies disclose their ingredients.

"You don’t know how much nicotine is in it, you don’t know what the other additives are. They have had such a strong lobby for so many years that they have prevented the FDA from doing this, for the public to actually know what is in tobacco products."

Opponents of the bill argue the FDA hasn’t been able to handle its current workload and isn’t up for the job. Kaye also expects opposition in the Senate, although she says the bill has strong bipartisan support. In the meantime, this week’s federal tobacco tax increase is expected to prompt about a million people to quit smoking.

The bill is HR 1256.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR