Religious leaders have a "moral imperative" to urge Congress to allow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate cigarettes, a leader in the Southern Baptist Convention said Tuesday.

Richard Land, head of public policy for the SBC, was among leaders from several religious denominations who gathered at a Nashville church Tuesday to urge members of the Tennessee congressional delegation to support such legislation.

He said people are dying early from preventable deaths caused by tobacco addiction.

Land said it was morally wrong to know the good that should be done and not do it.

He said he and his colleagues are not asking for a ban on tobacco products or for them to be treated differently than other regulated items, such as smoking cessation products.