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From: Grlygrl201@aol.com
Date: Wed Mar 22 2000 - 10:06:17 PST

exerpted from

<<today's papers

Regulate This

by Scott Shuger

Most of the papers capture the particular perversity of a tobacco
industry argument that the Court's majority found compelling: The
FDA was set up to ensure that products it regulates are safe. But
cigarettes aren't safe. Therefore the FDA can't regulate them.
There are questions about this argument that the coverage doesn't
address: If "safe" here means "absolutely safe" then since no
product is without risk, this argument would prove that the FDA
can't regulate anything. On the other hand, if ensuring safety
means working to make something that's not absolutely safe safer,
then it's not at all clear why a cigarette, like meat or aspirin,
isn't something the safety of which can be ensured. >>

how about NEVER safe? tobacco use is inherently unsafe - it cannot be
regulated into the saftey zone. shugar plates an irrelevant axiom for our

<<Indeed, given
all the weight put on tobacco not being a drug by the Court, it's
glaring that the coverage doesn't point out that the ruling doesn't
seem to provide a definition of "drug" that would support this.
Especially since nicotine seems to fit the major characteristics of
drugs. >>

intent? nicotine in the delivery agent tobacco has no therapeutic effect
(granted, arguably, if you've ever been around someone trying to quit
cold-turkey) ironically, nicotine delivery agents designed to wean addicts
off tobacco dependence have a therapeutic effect. maybe the feds should
demand that cigarettes be marketed differently, in packs containing only
three cigarettes, with a recommendation printed on the package that only one
pack should be consumed a day, and then state the intention of the product is
to eventually eliminate use of itself. yeah, that's it.

<<USAT notes that the ruling means the scrapping of all federal
penalties on retailers selling tobacco to minors and the NYT says
the FDA immediately began an orderly shutdown of its nationwide
program helping states monitor compliance with their laws barring
sales to minors. The LAT and the WP report that within hours of the
ruling, congressional Democrats announced plans to introduce a bill
establishing broader FDA authority. But the LAT says such an effort
is unlikely to succeed in an election year. >>

according to the ACS (www.cancer.org) tobacco use among teens in Florida is
down 45% since last year. they credit education & advocacy, not federal
penalties to retailers. I wish the papers had produced some stats on the
effectiveness of state vs federal penalties in reducing tobacco use (vs in
raising tobacco revenue for the govt.). also not mentioned in papers or by
shugar: all tobacco companies are VOLUNTARILY keeping their products off the
front counters and tying their retailer incentive programs to retailers'
compliance with that effort. Cigarette companies used to pay a premium to
keep their products up front, so there is a cost benefit to them to recede
their product (while certainlly it's also a preemptive Smith & Wesson move to
forestall more comprehensively stringent government mandates). For the
retailer, the cost benefit is that fewer packs get lifted.

Big T knows the real reason it won't get regulated. As abhorant as NRA
LaPierre's comment about Clinton tolerating a certain threshold of gun
violence was, I think it's clear the government will allow a certain
threshold of addiction to occur so long as it can tax it.

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