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May 17, 2010 [Washington, DC] -- Lung Cancer Alliance, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and many other tobacco control and patient advocate groups have sent a letter to Congressional leaders expressing strong support for the Smuggled Tobacco Prevention Act. Tobacco smuggling is a significant problem in the United States and many other countries. It is estimated that as much as one quarter of all legally produced tobacco products end up being smuggled across international borders. This translates into billions of dollars a year in illegal tobacco profits and the denial of state and federal governments much needed tobacco related revenue. The high profits possible in black market tobacco products have encouraged powerful organized criminals to engage in tobacco smuggling and tobacco tax evasion, increasing the potential risk.
The bill would establish new requirements and increase penalties in an effort to prevent illegal tobacco smuggling. The bill enhances the ability of law enforcement officials to track and trace tobacco products and block their diversion into illegal distribution channels. In addition, it would prohibit the delivery of tobacco
products unless federal tobacco taxes have been paid, improve registration and record-keeping requirements for distributors, keep tobacco processing machines out of the hands of counterfeiters, make it tougher for law breakers to get federal tobacco-related permits, encourage more aggressive enforcement efforts, and enhance penalties.
Lung Cancer Alliance will continue to monitor the progress of this important legislation.
Click here to read the letter to Senate leaders.
click here to read the letter to House leaders.