I recently attended a town hall hosted by Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-2) to discuss important issues facing our country. As a cancer survivor I want Congress to do everything to help defeat cancer – not just in here, but around the world.
Congress will have an important opportunity to do just that next year when it considers the recently negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. The TPP would prohibit the tobacco industry from using the agreement to undermine lifesaving tobacco control laws in the United States and the 11 other countries that are part of the pact.
The TPP would help countries protect laws that discourage tobacco use and promote public health from tobacco industry lawsuits that are intended to delay or undermine such laws. This is a big step in the right direction, especially considering that tobacco use is on track to kill 1 billion people globally in this century. Countries around the world are acting to prevent the public health calamity caused by tobacco use, and the TPP would help them do it.
Smoking rates in the U.S. are at an all-time low, thanks in part to smoke-free workplace policies, tobacco taxes and proven programs that help people quit. Tobacco companies try to protect profits by overturning policies like these in any way they can. By approving the TPP, Congressman Larsen and his colleagues could help to stop them.
Christine Griffiths, Bothell