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Thursday, November 17, 2011

“Great American Smokeout”

In the wake of a Federal Judge ruling that big tobacco companies are not required to put graphic warning labels on their products, President Obama speaks out against the ruling showing his support for a smoke-free America. Obama criticized tobacco companies for opposing new cigarette warning labels in a video for the American Cancer Society’s 36th annual “Great American Smokeout” today, Thursday November 16th, 2011.

His claim is that tobacco companies are against the labels because “they don’t want to be honest about the consequences” of using their products, the Associated Press reports. While fewer Americans are smoking than in the past, there are still 46 million smokers in this country. “The fact is, quitting smoking is hard. Believe me, I know.”

The cigarette warning labels came about as the result of the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate the content, marketing and sale of tobacco products. In response to the new policy, in August, tobacco companies sued the FDA to block the labels, which would carry graphic images of the consequences of smoking, including diseased lungs and rotting teeth.

Earlier this month, a judge ruled that until the lawsuit is resolved, tobacco companies do not have to put the warning labels on cigarette packages. Tobacco companies continue to make unbelievable profits on a substance that kills thousands of people every year. People should have more of a right to be informed about the inherent dangers tobacco poses to one’s health more than tobacco companies should have the right to hide the facts.

Obama, who was recently declared “smoke free” in a medical checkup, according to the AP, he quit smoking with the aid of nicotine gum.

Please watch a short video about President Obama’s views on the subject:

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