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Congressman Brad Sherman

Representing the 30th District of CALIFORNIA

SHERMAN WORKS TO KEEP TOBACCOOUT OF THE HANDS OF KIDS

  

Oct 8, 2002
Press Release
[Washington, D.C.] “ Since going to Congress in 1996, Congressman Brad Sherman has fought to keep tobacco out of the hands of kids.

This session he co-sponsored the FDA Tobacco Jurisdiction Act of 2001 (HR 1043), and the FDA Tobacco Authority Amendments Act (HR 1097). Both proposals would permit the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products as drugs. In past Congresses, Sherman sponsored the Anti "Kiddie Pack" Act, and co-sponsored the Healthy Kids Act and the Bipartisan NO Tobacco For Kids Act, to prevent children from using tobacco, help parents keep their children from starting to use it, expose the tobacco industry's past misconduct, and reduce the health costs attributable to tobacco use.

In 1996, the FDA passed a regulation categorizing cigarettes and smokeless tobacco as drug delivery devices, and established rules for their sale. Categorizing them in this way permitted the FDA to impose fines on people who violated the rules. But the tobacco companies sued, so the regulation never went into effect. In 2000, the Supreme Court upheld a Circuit Court decision invalidating the regulation, stating that only Congress can grant the FDA the authority to issue this regulation.

Shermans anti-tobacco campaign in Congress continues the work he started in California as Chairman of the Board of Equalization, the statewide body that collects sales and use taxes. During his tenure, tobacco companies developed small, cheap products called "Kiddie Packs" as a way to sell cigarettes to children who could not afford a standard package of twenty cigarettes. But when the cigarette companies asked the Board to design a tax stamp for these single stick packs, Sherman refused. Tobacco companies dropped their plans when they realized they would have to pay the tax applicable to a full pack of cigarettes even if the package contained only one cigarette.

"Brad wouldnt let the Board be used as a marketing partner to sell cigarettes to children," said John Thiella, Chief Deputy to current Board of Equalization member John Chung. "Marketing nicotine to kids is insidious. It creates customers for life for tobacco companies by turning kids into addicts."