Oncologists are well acquainted with the significant toll smoking takes on health. In addition to being the cause of most lung cancers, which is the number one cause of cancer death, smoking increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Ever since the Surgeon General warned of the dangers associated with smoking nearly 50 years ago, special interest groups have pressed Congress to grant the FDA authority to regulate or ban tobacco products.
With passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (HR 1256), they finally got their wishsort of. HR 1256 contains many restrictions on the marketing of tobacco products, with the goal of reducing smoking rates in young people. According to the American Cancer Society, 90% of smokers started before age 19.