LETTER: Support McCaskill's smoking prevention bill

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 | 2:28 p.m. CDT

As an advocate for the American Heart Association, I want to thank Sen. Claire McCaskill for co-sponsoring the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.  

Incredibly, our nation’s most preventable cause of death is unregulated by any federal agency that has the required scientific expertise and experience. Deadly products have been sold for generations without federal oversight, putting both young and old at risk for heart disease and stroke. In Missouri, 10,680 residents die each year from tobacco-related illnesses compared to 444,000 Americans each year. Of those tobacco-related deaths, an estimated 35 percent are due to cardiovascular disease. The time has come for Congress to pass legislation placing the tobacco industry under the Food and Drug Administration’s authority.

According to the American Heart Association, the cigarette chemical cocktail – which includes rat poison, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia – damages arteries throughout the body once it hits the bloodstream. Clots are more likely to form as a result, causing heart attack or stroke.

Big Tobacco spends $423 million a year in Missouri to promote such dangerous products to adults and teenagers, jeopardizing public health. I want to encourage Congress to follow McCaskill’s lead and support the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Chris Buckland is a “You’re the Cure” volunteer for the American Heart Association.


Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


John Schultz June 3, 2009 | 8:07 p.m.

This bill does absolutely nothing if it doesn't ban cigarettes. If that is your wish, just come out and say it.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 3, 2009 | 8:24 p.m.

Seems to me that the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act is a major regulation document.
Perhaps a simpler way to handle this obnoxious product would be to shift responsibility from ATF and give it to the FDA.

(Report Comment)
Joe City June 17, 2009 | 1:51 p.m.

In Missouri, 10,680 residents die each year from tobacco-related illnesses............

Aw BS !

Lets see the numbers on that one.

that would be 20% of the population of Columbia.


(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking June 17, 2009 | 2:23 p.m.

Joe, for all of Missouri that might be about right. Not just Columbia. It also depends on what they call a tobacco related illness.

Chris, Which rat poison? Sodium arsenate? Warfarin? Red squill?

There's no rat poison in tobacco smoke, and very little of the other compounds you list. The main toxic combustion byproduct is carbon monoxide, which helps cause all the diseases you mention over decades of smoking.


(Report Comment)
DANNY YELTON January 7, 2010 | 9:46 a.m.

Fact: Tobacco kills. Fact: 25% of Missourians smoke. We should support any program that adresses this major health issue.

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.