Press Release Aug 25, 2007

SBC's Richard Land to call for legislation to protect kids from tobacco

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, will partner with other faith, public health and youth leaders from Tennessee at a press conference on Tuesday, August 28, in Nashville to support legislation granting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory authority over tobacco products.

The leaders will call on the entire Tennessee congressional delegation, particularly U.S. Representatives Bart Gordon (D-TN) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), to cosponsor the legislation. As members of the House Subcommittee on Health, Gordon and Blackburn can play a key role in advancing this legislation, HR 1108, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

The press conference, organized by Faith United Against Tobacco, will be held at 11 a.m. at West End United Methodist Church, 2200 West End Avenue.

Other speakers will include Rev. Dave Adams, president, United Methodist Men; Courtney Wilson, youth advocate, Disciples of Christ; Bishop Martha Thomas, Tennessee State Diocese, The House of God Church; Dr. David Lowes Watson, interim senior pastor, West End United Methodist Church; and Dr. Chuck Womack, American Heart Association Advocacy Committee and former mayor of Cookeville.

HR 1108 would give the FDA the authority to crack down on tobacco marketing and sales to kids, stop tobacco companies from misleading the public about the health risks of their products and allow the FDA to force the tobacco companies to make changes in these products, such as the reduction or removal of harmful constituents. Despite being the most deadly products sold legally in America, tobacco products are exempt from basic health regulations that apply to other products Americans consume, such as food and drugs.

p(notes). The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest non-Catholic denomination with more than 16.3 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.

p(notes). To request an interview with Dr. Richard Land, contact Jill Martin at (615) 782-8401, or by e-mail at jmartin@erlc.com. Visit our Web site at www.erlc.com. For more information about Faith United Against Tobacco, please contact Nicole Dueffert at 202-296-5469.

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