Supreme Court Decision Does Not Result in Victory for Tobacco Industry
Wednesday, March 22, 2000
Media Does Not Understand Tobacco Problem
Most of you are now aware of the Supreme Court
decision released Tuesday regarding FDA regulation
over tobacco. National as well as local media affiliates
ran headlines about a "victory for the tobacco industry."
This is absolutely incorrect and further illustrates the
lack of understanding the media has about this problem.
Yes, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress has not
given the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco. Yet,
the real loser in this decision is Big Tobacco. Please
note Justice O'Connor's statement, "tobacco use, particularly
among children and adolescents, poses perhaps the single
most significant threat to public health in the United States."
We must look deeper to understand the intent and
interpretation of the Court. The FDA has the authority
to regulate drugs in this nation. The FDA looks to possible
risks and benefits of these substances.
The fundamental issue is that tobacco provides no known benefit for
users. This is what health educators have been saying all
along. Therefore, it is a product that cannot be regulated
under the existing structure of the FDA. Tobacco is the
only commercial product on our shelves that has absolutely
no safe application.
Even the tobacco industry's lawyers argued that if FDA
regulation were allowed, the government would be forced
to ban tobacco products entirely as they have not been
shown to be safe. O'Connor's opinion acknowledged that the
FDA has concluded that cigarettes are unsafe and
dangerous. As a result, she said, federal law "would
require the FDA to remove them from the market entirely."
I believe total prohibition of tobacco, although one
solution to this problem, would cause even greater harm
to society due to the illegal markets that tobacco
addicts would promulgate.
I hardly call this a victory for tobacco. Yes, it is a
temporary setback for those of us dependent upon
the FDA to assist the battle to protect our nation's
youth. I urge you to highlight the passages delivered
from our highest court as well as from the tobacco industry.
Include these as tools in your arsenal helping you to battle
the leading addictive and cancer-causing drug dealers in the
Many thanks and keep up your hard work!
source: Scott Goold, TobaccoFreedom.org