SBC’s Richard Land applauds passage of smoking prevention and tobacco control bill

By Jill Waggoner
Jun 12, 2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, applauded today’s passage of the “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act” by the House of Representatives by a 307-97 vote.

The bill, which gives the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco products, was approved yesterday by the Senate in a 79-17 roll call and is now headed to President Barack Obama’s desk.

“The passage of this legislation is the culmination of a long-term effort by the ERLC and many other groups to bring greater regulation to the tobacco industry,” said Dr Land.

“Approximately 400,000 Americans a year die directly from the usage of tobacco products. It’s a scandal that the industry has been virtually unregulated until now. The Southern Baptist Convention passed its first resolution calling for government regulation of tobacco in the 1930s. Over the passage of time, hundreds of thousands of American lives will be saved because of the approval of this legislation.”

The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest non-Catholic denomination with more than 16.2 million members in over 44,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.

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