As an 18-year-old youth anti-tobacco advocate from Maryland, I want to thank Sen. Barbara Mikulski for her leadership in the fight against tobacco. Senator Mikulski has supported strong initiatives to reduce tobacco use including Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco products and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's life-saving programs to prevent kids from smoking and to help smokers quit. These steps have helped reduce smoking to record lows in the United States.
But the tobacco industry is fighting back, and they're getting support from some members of Congress. The House Appropriations Committee has passed bills that would weaken FDA oversight of e-cigarettes and cigars — products that have become very popular with kids — and cut funding by more than half for the CDC's anti-tobacco programs.
Fortunately, the Senate Appropriations Committee, with Senator Mikulski serving as vice chairwoman, has rejected these very harmful proposals. I urge the senator and all Maryland members of Congress to make sure these provisions never become law. Congress should protect kids, not tobacco companies.
Devan Ogburn, Upper Marlboro