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Tobacco: Stretching the Long Arm of the Law

Filed Under: Regulations & Law at 2:56 pm | By: Brandi Spade, Senior Editor
cigarette.jpgSmokers often discover that once you start, it’s a never ending process to quit.  You crave the nicotine and the thousands of other chemical ingredients.  No one can truthfully say that there is anything healthy about smoking.  So why is a bill being considered that would place tobacco products under the regulation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)? 

A July 25th article in The Washington Post points out that for several years many officials have been trying to get cigarettes regulated by the FDA, but Bush has been adamant about opposing this plan.  It seems an unlikely situation to ask an organization designed to protect Americans from unhealthy food and drugs to regulate a product with absolutely no health benefits.  Yet, many believe it is a step in the right direction to ensure that tobacco companies do not make their products increasingly more harmful and addictive.

It’s impossible in one fell swoop to eliminate the tobacco industry altogether (a U.S. industry that sells over 370 billion cigarettes per year).  Economics doesn’t support it according to most American lawmakers.  Yet, a steady decline in demand would make a substantial improvement in the detrimental affects of cigarettes overall.  Many are worried that FDA regulation would lead consumers to falsely believe that cigarettes are safe for use.  However, it seems that it is widely known that cigarettes are anything but safe.  But FDA regulation, if effectively handled, could sway the tobacco companies from making their products even more addictive and dangerous than they are already.  If it isn’t feasible to remove tobacco altogether, then we can at least attempt to reign in their exploitation of tobacco consumers.

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