Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.
"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures." -- Daniel Webster
Thursday, January 14, 2010 :::
The best thing a nicotine fiend can do is quit tobacco entirely. For the 46 million Americans who have not been able to follow that advice—a number that has stubbornly refused to shrink—the next best thing is to use the kind of tobacco that doesn’t require incineration. The change would also be a blessing to nonsmokers, who would no longer have to put up with noxious fumes and discarded butts.
The Royal College of Physicians can tell you that. I can tell you that. Alvin and the Chipmunks can tell you that. But some people are not allowed to tell you that, namely the people who would be most inclined to take the trouble to spread the message: the people who run tobacco companies.
They would like to. Reynolds American has urged the Food and Drug Administration to “encourage an open, public discussion of the potential reduction in risk that could result from” shifting smokers to non-smoked products. Altria asked the agency to adopt regulations that “provide meaningful pathways for accurate and non-misleading communication about such products to adult tobacco consumers.” In other words, let tobacco companies advise consumers that smokeless tobacco is far less risky than cigarettes, a fact that no one disputes.