On Feb. 18, Richard Heyman, M.D., spoke before a group of congressional staff about the urgent need to pass comprehensive national tobacco control legislation this year. He did this not only as a pediatrician and chair of the AAP Committee on Substance Abuse, but as a father.

Despite the fact that Dr. Heyman and his wife did not smoke, his son, like millions of other children in this country, started smoking at a young age. He was exposed to environmental tobacco smoke as a youngster and had easy access to tobacco through vending machines and other avenues. Throughout his childhood, he saw numerous ads and logos representing tobacco products and was subjected to the widespread impression that smoking was normal. For a mere $3 a pack, he was able to purchase a ticket into adulthood.

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