Tuesday, April 22, 2008

WSJ on Tobacco Regulation by FDA

Editorial in the Wall Street Journal -- Cynicism and Big Tobacco.  Here's an excerpt:

Congress wants to give regulators more authority over the tobacco industry – so what else is new? The surprise is that currently there are no plans to give it to the Environmental Protection Agency. Surely cigarette smoke qualifies as a dangerous pollutant.

Not that Congress needs any ideas, but handing off tobacco to the EPA makes about as much sense as its nearly completed pass to the Food and Drug Administration. A bill expected to be voted on soon would impose new restrictions on marketing, raise cigarette taxes, and police the ingredients in tobacco products, including nicotine levels. Any reckless FDA policy is bound to be popular, and sure enough, the bill has 220 co-sponsors in the House and 54 in the Senate, including all three Presidential contenders.

This is all phenomenally cynical, even for Congress. Since the 1964 Surgeon General's report, the health consequences of this hazardous if legal product have been ubiquitous, which no doubt accounts for the 58% plunge in smoking among U.S. adults. The FDA tobacco gambit is explainable only because the politicians have dumped public health for public revenue.

BGS

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Comments

You last statement that "Politicians have dumped public health for public revenue" is enough to make me want to leave this country. For all that is great about this country I feel like our government is more and more just out right selling out to the interest of money... what else explains so many decisions devoid of logic?

Posted by: Tom Neibort | May 3, 2008 8:00:32 PM

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