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Update: March 15, 2010 [Washington, DC] -- Today, Lung Cancer Alliance, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and a variety of public health advocacy and patient support organizations penned a letter to the US House of Representatives to Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY). The letter called on House leaders to quickly pass the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (PACT Act) and to send this important legislation to President Obama for signature into law. The House previously passed a similar version of the legislation 397-11. To read the text of the letter, click here.
Update: March 12, 2010 [Washington, DC] -- Last night the United States Senate passed the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act by unanimous consent. The amended bill must now return to the US House of Representatives for final approval before it is sent to President Obama to be signed into law. The House overwhelmingly passed an earlier version of the bill 397-11.
March 5, 2010 [Washington, DC] -- Today Lung Cancer Alliance joined with the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and more than twenty public health advocacy organizations in sending a letter to Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) expressing support for the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (PACT Act, S.1147). The PACT Act will help make it harder for children to purchase tobacco products over the Internet and stop the illegal sale of tax-evading tobacco products.
Currently, individuals and businesses that sell cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products through the Internet or other mail-order sales often do not have sufficient safeguards to prevent sales to children nor do they ensure that applicable tobacco taxes are paid. Moreover, untaxed tobacco products deprive state and local governments of revenues that are needed to fund important services, including those that promote public health. The PACT Act hopes to counter these concerns by providing local and federal law enforcement officials with the necessary tools to properly enforce existing tobacco sales restrictions, require all applicable taxes on internet tobacco sales to be paid to state, local and Tribal governments before delivery, require age verification for internet tobacco purchases, and ensure the use of delivery methods that verify the age and identity of the person accepting delivery.
The PACT Act has also been carefully drafted to ensure that the rights of Native American tribes that rely on internet tobacco sales for substantial tribal revenues are not infringed upon. Tribal organizations were involved in drafting the legislation and subsequently stated that the revised bill protected tribal sovereign immunity.
The PACT Act was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support (397-11) by the US House of Representatives in May 2009 and by the Senate Judiciary Committee by voice vote in November 2009. The Senate previously passed the legislation by unanimous consent in 2003.
To view the letter to Senator Kohl, click here.