The food and drug administration regulates the contents of Aspirin, potato chips... even dog food. But this safety watchdog has neither bite nor bark when it comes to setting standards for the deadliest product in our society: tobacco.
The food and drug administration regulates the contents of Aspirin, potato chips… even dog food. But this safety watchdog has neither bite nor bark when it comes to setting standards for the deadliest product in our society: tobacco.
This highly addictive drug hooks children, kills some 340,000 Americans ever year, sickens nonsmokers who merely are around the fumes, and adds billions of dollars in costs to our heath care system. Yet, thanks to Big Tobacco’s campaign donations and lobbyists, the White House and congress have refused to require FDA regulation of this killer product, allowing corporate profits to trump public health.
Enjoying Hightower? How about a weekly email that gives you the full scoop?
There are easy steps the corporations could take to reduce the addictive and carcinogenic power of their products. Far from reducing the killer contents, however, cigarette makers have deliberately been juicing up the potency of their cancer sticks. A recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health finds that the amount of addictive nicotine that cigarettes pump into the lungs of smokers jumped by 11 percent from 1998 to 2005.
With no regulators to restrain them, the corporations have merrily added higher-nicotine tobacco to cigarettes and – get this – modified cigarette design so smokers take more puffs from each one! In other words, they have carelessly made their products a greater danger.
This year, however, the new Democratic majority in congress has a chance to rein in these runaway greedheads by putting tobacco products under FDA regulation. Sen. Ted Kennedy has proposed legislation allowing FDA to crack down on tobacco advertising (especially ads that target children) and to regulate the contents and design of cigarettes to reduce their harm to smokers and those around them.
This is Jim Hightower saying… Tobacco corporations literally are sucking the life out of people. To learn more about Kennedy’s bill, call his office: 202-224-4543.
“Regulate Tobacco, Finally,” Washington Post, January 19, 2007.