• Public Affairs

  • ACOEM Urges Congress to Regulate Cigars

    June 25, 2012
    United States Congress
    House of Representatives
    Washington, D.C. 20515

    Dear Representative:

    As the leading physician organizations concerned about the enormous toll of tobacco use in the U.S., we are writing to express our strong support for the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) oversight over tobacco products and to share with you our organizations’ deep concern that amendments that weaken the FDA’s authority over tobacco products may be offered to the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies bill that the House of Representatives is scheduled to consider this week.

    Last week, the American Medical Association adopted a resolution “strongly opposing” any legislation “which would undermine the FDA’s authority to regulate tobacco products.” Our organizations are particularly concerned about an attempt to exempt cigars from FDA’s authority, as is proposed in H.R. 1639. As affirmed in the AMA-adopted resolution, our associations strongly oppose any effort to weaken the FDA’s authority over tobacco products. We respectfully request that you do the same, for the better health of our nation.

    Cigar smoking is not safe. According to the U.S. Surgeon General and the National Cancer Institute, cigar smoking causes cancer of the oral cavity, larynx, esophagus, and lung, as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart disease.

    In 2009 Congress overwhelmingly approved the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act after more than a decade of careful and thorough consideration. This law was designed to protect America’s children and the nation’s health by putting in place common sense standards to regulate the tobacco industry. The Tobacco Control Act is helping to reduce the devastating health and economic toll of tobacco use on the nation. This lifesaving law should not be weakened.

    The Tobacco Control Act was carefully crafted to protect the health of both current tobacco users and those who do not currently use tobacco products, especially children. Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, killing more than 400,000 Americans and costing the nation $96 billion in health care expenses each year. The Tobacco Control Act provided the FDA with the tools necessary to regulate tobacco products using an independent science-based process. We urge you to oppose any attempt to impede in any way the FDA’s ability to protect public health. To do otherwise would serve the interests of the tobacco industry to the detriment of the health of our patients and the nation.


    American Medical Association
    American College of Cardiology
    American College of Preventive Medicine
    American Academy of Pediatrics
    American Thoracic Society
    National Association for the Medical Direction of Respiratory Care
    American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine