U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) discussed provisions of the Family Smoking
Prevention and Control Act at a press conference held at the Robert H. Lurie Medical
Research Center on Northwestern University's Chicago campus. These provisions,
which go into effect today, June 22, will prevent kids from picking up the deadly
habit of smoking, help current smokers quit, and save many lives, said Durbin.
"The common sense reforms enacted by this law will finally end decades of tobacco
industry deceit and targeting of children as 'replacement smokers,' " Durbin said.
"Congress and the President took a giant step forward last year in protecting our
kids and safeguarding Americans' health by giving the Food and Drug Administration the
power to regulate the manufacture, marketing and sale of tobacco products. The provisions
going into effect continue that progress."
Durbin was joined at the news conference by Jyoti Patel, MD, and other non-smoking
advocates. Patel, Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at the Robert H. Lurie
Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Associate Professor of
Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and an
oncologist on staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, described the "enormous toll
lung cancer exacts on our nation. Every year more Americans die from lung cancer
than from colon, breast and prostate cancers combined. Legislations such as this
important measure will help us decrease smoking rates and lessen the burden of this
The new provisions prohibit terms like "light," "low," and "mild" in advertising and
labeling of cigarettes and smokeless products, require larger, stronger warning
labels on smokeless tobacco packages and ads, strengthen restrictions on the sale of
tobacco products to minors, and curtail marketing tools tobacco companies use to
hook new smokers. More than half of daily American smokers—including nearly two
thirds of women who smoke—say they smoke brands marketed (added ED) as "light" or
"ultra-light." Many smokers erroneously believe that using these products help reduce the risks from
smoking. "The use of these words has been one of the most harmful consumer frauds of all time and
tomorrow we will finally remove these deceitful terms from cigarette packages and ads," Durbin said.