“Various news reports took statements I recently made on the floor out of context and suggested that I wanted to ban tobacco products. That is not my goal or intent. I was arguing that the bill now being debated by the Senate to place tobacco products under the regulation of the Food and Drug Administration, an agency charged with ensuring the safety of food and medicine, is a clever attempt to stop tobacco use altogether either through government regulation or trial attorney lawsuits. I was suggesting that those who oppose tobacco should simply have the courage to propose a total ban, which is their ultimate goal.”News reports for the past several days have stated that Sen. Coburn called for a ban on tobacco (example: TheHill.com said "A Republican senator who is also a doctor is calling for a new era of Prohibition — outlawing cigarette smoking and other tobacco use."). That was not the case, as evidenced by Senator Coburn's statement.
“We already have several government agencies that are focused on regulating tobacco products and educating the public about the dangers of tobacco use. As a physician, I agree that it is in the best interest of public health that tobacco use be discouraged, prevented, and treated, but I do not believe that new regulations or taxes imposed by the federal government are the answer. I also do not believe that tobacco use by adults should be banned.”
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Statement from U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK):