A coalition of anti-smoking groups called again today for legislation giving the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco. Members of “Tobacco Free Iowa” say Senator Chuck Grassley and Congressmen Tom Latham and Jim Nussle of Iowa have yet to show support for the move. Guthrie Center high school student Tara Gilson spoke at the event held in front of the Federal Building in downtown Des Moines.Gilson says macroni and cheese and Marlboro cigarettes, two products made by the Phillip Morris Company, illustrate the obsurdity of failing to regulate tobacco. Gilson’s father smokes and she says she’s worried he’ll die of a smoking related illness.Des Moines doctor Ronnie Martin also spoke at the event. He says tobacco and nicotine are a drug and exert significant effects on the body. He says smoking is the number one preventable cause of disease in the country.Martin says the United States spends 60-BILLION dollars a year in direct costs due to death and disease brought on by smoking. He says a similar amount is spent on indirect costs.
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