FDA Approves Cigarettes—Shhh Don’t Tell!

Government Regulation's Finest Moment--JustMyTruth

Government Regulation's Finest Moment--JustMyTruth

A bill before Congress wants to put the tobacco industry under the control and regulation of the FDA.  This is NOT a new bill and it is not a joke.  Beginning in 2004 and moving forward till today, it has been around for quite some time and the FDA is fighting it.  The FDA says it doesn’t have either the man power or the knowledge to regulate the tobacco industry.  But we know how Congress is, they never listen and will do as they please.  For me, this is hilarious!  Imagine, FDA approved cigarettes! At least that will be the implication if this bill goes through.  Can you imagine?  I can just imagine the headlines, “Smoke with assurance of quality control!  FDA approved*”

The FDA’s mission statement is as follows:

FDA’s Mission Statement

The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. The FDA is also responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medicines and foods more effective, safer, and more affordable; and helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to improve their health.

It seems rather contradictory to have a mission statement like that and then be in the business of regulating tobacco.  Of course most of the science they use is absolute poppy-cock.  But still  it seems contrary to the mission statement of the FDA.  But why worry about a little thing like contradictions?  After all, you have big pharma behind all of this.  Would they lie to you???  LMAO!

The bill before Congress which directs the FDA to control and oversee tobacco has some up in arms.  H.R. 1256 and S.625 has had a number of incarnations.  Quite a feet when you consider that most bills that don’t get out of one House or the Senate die for good. But Congress is determined.  And while I find it absolutely amusing for the difficult position it puts the FDA in, I can’t think of a nicer organization to have to deal with it.  See for yourself.

111th Congress: H.R. 1256: Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement ActPassed House (96% of Democrats supporting, 60% of Republicans opposing.)
110th Congress: H.R. 1108Passed House (98% of Democrats supporting, 51% of Republicans opposing.)
And do you remember when the Supreme Court denied the FDA request to regulate tobacco, (No. 98—1152. Argued December 1, 1999–Decided March 21, 2000)?  The Supreme Court decision was based on the fact that Congress had specifically denied the FDA regulatory oversight of the tobacco industry…

Obviously, the FDA approval is only IMPLIED by this bill.  Certainly we wouldn’t want the public to get the idea that smoking was GOOD for you!  Heavens no!  < snickers >  And no-one wants you to  know that the Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids, Waxman, Kennedy, and others have been in bed with Phillip Morris, a tobacco giant, from the beginning.  Phillip Morris wants this bill to pass.  You have to wonder though why most of the tobacco control folks are silent when it comes to this bill…

This bill passed the House on April 2, 2009.  It now goes to debate on the Senate Floor.

S. 625: Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act

Bill Summary:
2/15/2007–Introduced.

  1. Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act – Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to provide for the regulation of tobacco products by the Secretary of Health and Human Services through the Food and Drug Administration, including through disclosure, annual registration, inspection, record keeping, and user fee requirements.
  2. Sets forth criteria by which tobacco products are deemed adulterated or misbranded.
  3. Allows the Secretary to require prior approval of all label statements.
  4. Allows the Secretary to restrict the sale or distribution of tobacco products, including advertising and promotion, if the Secretary determines that such regulation would be appropriate for the protection of the public health. Prohibits such regulations from: (1) limiting product sales or distribution to authorization of a practitioner licensed to prescribe medical products; (2) prohibiting product sales in face-to-face transactions by a specific category of retail outlets; or (3) establishing a minimum age greater than 18 years of age for product purchases.
  5. Prohibits cigarettes from containing any artificial or natural flavor (other than tobacco or menthol) or an herb or spice, including strawberry, cinnamon, or coffee.
  6. Requires the Secretary to establish tobacco product standards to protect the public health, but reserves to Congress the power to ban any tobacco products or reduce the nicotine level to zero.
  7. Allows the Secretary to take specified actions, including public notification and recall, against unreasonably harmful products.
  8. Requires premarket approval of all new tobacco products.
  9. Sets forth standards for the sale of modified risk tobacco products.
  10. Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) judicial review; (2) coordination with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC); (3) congressional review of regulations; and (4) state and local authority.
  11. Requires the Secretary to establish a Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee.
  12. Amends the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act to change cigarette warning label and advertising requirements.
  13. Amends the Comprehensive Smokeless Tobacco Health Education Act of 1986 to change smokeless tobacco warning label and advertising requirements.

I still can’t figure out what they are talking about on number 4.  Tobacco companies have been prohibited from advertising for longer than I can remember almost.  But hey, I suppose you have to add that in anyway…  And why aren’t the adults allowed to have flavored tobacco?  Why is it that just because the kids MIGHT want that the adults have to go without?? ?  Adults like different flavors too.

There are certain provisions of this bill which are causing a firestorm in the medical world.  I just can’t help but enjoy this.  Obviously the firestorm is all about how this bill, and placing the tobacco industry under the control of the FDA, makes it seem that smoking is good for you, or at least, healthier.  And while it may be the first step to outright banning of cigarettes, we have seen how well bans work.  Just look at prohibition.  I believe the smoking issue will be the same…

According to Dr. Michael Siegel, (who is a long time proponent of tobacco control with over 20 years experience and who has also testified against the tobacco industry many times in a court of law), this bill has many flaws.  I cannot list them all because this post will again be far too long, but you can read them for yourself on his website on the link above:

One of the major criticisms I have leveled against the proposed legislation is that it would give cigarettes an FDA seal of approval, thus undermining the public’s appreciation of the hazards of smoking and providing the tobacco companies with a golden marketing opportunity. The companies could start boasting that their products are officially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and that they comply with all federal regulations and requirements regarding the safety of tobacco products.

Can you imagine statements on cigarette packages, advertisements, and web sites which state: “Our products are strictly regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has approved this product for sale in the U.S. It meets all regulatory safety standards promulgated by the FDA.”

< snipped >

“If manufacturers state or imply in communications directed to consumers through the media or through a label, labeling, or advertising, that a tobacco product is approved or inspected by the Food and Drug Administration or complies with Food and Drug Administration standards, consumers are likely to be confused and misled. Depending upon the particular language used and its context, such a statement could result in consumers being misled into believing that the product is endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration for use or in consumers being misled about the harmfulness of the product because of such regulation, inspection, approval, or compliance.”

This means, of course, that they have effectively gagged the tobacco industry from disclosing this fact. This directly violates the full disclosure policy the tobacco industry is working under to try to keep the public abreast of what is happening.  So, how are the tobacco industry supposed to inform customers that they are now under the FDA’s control?  They aren’t!  That makes this an unConstitutional bill because the tobacco industry has been ordered to put warning labels on their products.  This is where this information should go!

And while Congress can’t hear us, they heard Dr. Seigel!

First, they added the following statement of purpose to the legislation [section 2(46)]:

“If manufacturers state or imply in communications directed to consumers through the media or through a label, labeling, or advertising, that a tobacco product is approved or inspected by the Food and Drug Administration or complies with Food and Drug Administration standards, consumers are likely to be confused and misled. Depending upon the particular language used and its context, such a statement could result in consumers being misled into believing that the product is endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration for use or in consumers being misled about the harmfulness of the product because of such regulation, inspection, approval, or compliance.”

But this puts the companies into the position of lying to the public.   Dr. Seigel explains it like this:

Prohibiting cigarette companies from making statements which are demonstrably true, and which are undeniable, material facts, is clearly a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution. The FDA legislation violates the cigarette companies’ free speech rights by preventing them from making truthful, verifiable, and non-misleading statements of material fact. Furthermore, no government interest is directly advanced by this prohibition of truthful communication and the restriction is more intrusive than necessary to advance the government’s interest in preventing the public from falsely believing that cigarettes are safer.

You will have to read the rest of the article to find out how fascinating this all is!  Dr. Seigle describes court cases involving labeling of alcohol and how all that relates to tobacco.  Trust me, it’s good!

According to the Center for Media and Democracy:

Lobbying to remove cigarette ads from TV and put weak, unobtrusive warning labels on cigarette packs has also served the industry’s interests by giving them legal cover and saving thousands in advertising costs while doing little to actually restrain tobacco promotion. With the passage of the “Marlboro Preservation Act,” the FDA — which already has difficulty assuring the public that peanuts and pistachios are safe — would now be handed regulation of cigarettes. While well intentioned, the bill is misguided. It ought to carry its own warning: “This legislation is deceptive, and it will prove devastating to public health.”

Marlboro Preservation Act as I have come to realize is not really any legislation but a sarcastic name for the bill above.  Those involved in tobacco control are very upset about this bill mostly for the fact that once in the hands of the FDA, the implied approval of smoking and their products are safe for consumers.  Nah, we’d NEVER think That!!!

Dr. Seigel has a lot to say on this legislation which you might want to read

But tell me, would it bother you to know that the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids has had a big hand in this legislation?  They have.  It seems they enjoy dealing with the Tobacco Industry very much.  Especially Phillip Morris.

The legislation is a dream come true for Philip Morris. The bill, which ought to be entitled the Marlboro Monopoly Act, essentially assures Philip Morris of the major share of the domestic cigarette market through a de facto freeze on the introduction of new (and potentially competitive) cigarette brands into the market. The legislation also provides an FDA seal of approval to cigarettes, promising to undermine years of public education about the hazards of cigarette smoking. Moreover, the legislation will provide de facto immunity to the cigarette companies, making it nearly impossible for plaintiffs to recover punitive damages and bringing the threat of serious litigation to an untimely death.

Doesn’t that just make you feel so much better about the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids?  Ya…  Here is another interesting article from Dr. Seigel’s Blog:

Representative Waxman, Champion of FDA Tobacco Legislation, Quoted as Saying that He Wouldn’t Change Bill Even if There Were No Political Constraints

< snipped >

This is a very significant development because it demonstrates to me that Representative Waxman – if he meant what he said to the New York Times – is actually not primarily interested in protecting the health of the American public, but instead, is primarily interested in making sure that there is no substantial dent in smoking rates that might harm the interests of the company who he invited to the table in the negotiations he brokered to craft this legislation.

Apparently, Representative Waxman believes that nicotine should not be removed from cigarettes, since his bill precludes the FDA from eliminating nicotine in tobacco products.

Similarly, Representative Waxman also apparently believes that precluding the FDA from increasing the age of legal sale of cigarettes to above age 18 is not a political compromise, and that it is in the best interests of the public’s health.

Or, how about this article:

Kick Butts Day 2009: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Misusing and Tricking Kids into Doing Its Special Interest Lobbying for It

This Wednesday was Kick Butts Day 2009, a day on which the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids tries to trick kids into supporting the Philip Morris-negotiated FDA tobacco legislation without telling those kids that the bill before Congress prohibits the FDA from taking meaningful action to protect the public from tobacco products and that the legislation is supported by, and was crafted in part by the nation’s leading tobacco company.

So, did your kid *kick butt*?  Oh, you just can’t trust anyone these days can you?  Everyone has a gimmick or has an angle.  This isn’t all that tobacco control hasn’t told you, but well, smokers have known for a LONG time that most of what is told about smoking is lies anyway.  These tobacco control people can’t publish their science or give real numbers because then you would know the truth, that this is all about big pharma.  Who else gains more by regulating and taxing this industry they way they are???  We’ve seen their supposed science.  We’ve checked their real reports.  We investigated and found them to be liars and thieves.  Why do you think most smokers won’t quit?  We aren’t buying the load of crap the rest of you sucked up like manna from heaven for no other reason than you don’t like the smell.  But anti-smokers won’t check out the reports as they are happy with their delusions.  Brainwashing kids and the public is what these tobacco control fools are all about.

Smokers smoke because they enjoy it, not because of addiction to nicotine.  And while we do form habits, (the hand to mouth thing), it isn’t addiction.  We actually LIKE to feel the smoke going down our throats, enjoy the feeling of satisfaction which accompanies a smoke, and enjoy the time out afforded us by having a cigarette.

I think it is especially funny to watch so many people claim all sorts of allergies to smoke or smokers when in reality they have another problem all together, one in which going from hot room to cold can cause a runny nose or vise versa.  People who don’t smoke just don’t like the smell and feel they have a right to having things their way, (so much for the death of free choice!).  One of these days a smack upside the head will turn the light on, probably after they go for something you love and tax the hell out of it.  In the meantime, this one is a whole lot funnier when you are a smoker than if you aren’t.

Here are some tee shirt slogans I’m thinking of getting:

  1. Smoking, it’s FDA approved, It’s for the kids!
  2. Smokers wanted, the kids need you to care for them!
  3. FDA approved?  Who needs the FDA, it’s for the KIDS!
  4. Smokers pay for kids healthcare.  Smoke more it’s FDA approved!
  5. Smoking! You’ve Come a Long Way Baby!  NOW, FDA approved!
  6. Tobacco is FDA approved and insuring the health of millions
  7. Cigarettes: Manufactured under Government regulations.  You couldn’t make them any safer.
  8. FDA approved for your smoking pleasure.
  9. FDA Seal Of Approval (Better than Good Housekeeping)
  10. Cigarettes, regulated and safety approved by the FDA, Legislation courtesy of Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
  11. We don’t want your kids to smoke.  But if they do, you can rest assured that our cigarettes are manufactured to comply with the strictest safety standards set by the Federal Food and Drug Administration.
  12. FDA approved-coming soon-EPA certified!
  13. FDA= Federal Dose Accepted
  14. FDA Certified-Big Tobacco Bailout
  15. A Cigarette a day keeps the doctor away!
  16. Look Ma! Smoking is  FDA approved! (with smiley face)
  17. FDA: Making cigarettes safer.  Except for side-stream smoke.
  18. Anti-smoking… Supported by FDA Cigarettes.
  19. Donate to Children’s Health Care-Buy Cigarettes FDA approved!
  20. Smokers Wanted! Fully FDA Approved Cigarettes.  Support the Children’s Health Care Fund!

OK, I’m done with my fun!  I really don’t want all that much hate mail, LOL.  But you gotta admit, this has one doozy of a double standard.  How can the FDA, tasked with the public safety in food, drugs etc., be placed in charge of cigarettes and tobacco which supposedly kill so many citizens a year???  Someone must have been stoned or on cancer medicine when they thought this one up.

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~ by justmytruth on April 10, 2009.

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