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SMOKING: Bill is helping save lungs

| June 25, 2010 10:00 PM

In northern Idaho, an average of 24 percent of the population smokes or chews tobacco. Studies show that 90 percent of smokers start before their 18th birthday. One-third of those smokers die prematurely because of their addiction. Thanks to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that President Obama signed into law a year ago this month, fewer of our kids are likely to start smoking and more of our kids are likely to live a long healthy life.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act allows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco as it does other consumer products. The act banned tobacco companies from selling cigarettes in candy and fruit flavors that teenagers smoke three times more than smokers older than 25. The act ended claims on cigarette packs that the contents are light, mild or have low tar.

Every day, 3,500 kids try a cigarette for the first time, and another 1,000 become new, daily smokers. The Panhandle Health District thanks Congress, President Obama and the public health community for passing this landmark legislation that gives more of our children a chance at a smoke-free and healthy life.

JEANNE BOCK

Director, Panhandle Health District

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