BIG TOBACCO: Health Groups Push for Strict Regulation
Public health groups, including the American Cancer Society and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, vowed that they will lobby for strict regulation of the cigarette industry and called upon tobacco companies to "stop fighting the FDA in court," the Wall Street Journal reports. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in December and now is deciding whether tobacco products are "drugs" and medical "devices" as defined in the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which is governed by the FDA. Steven Parrish, senior vice president of Philip Morris Cos., admitted yesterday that "nicotine is a drug," but added, "I do not believe, though, that merely because nicotine is a drug that it means it should be regulated as a pharmaceutical or medical device." Philip Morris spokesperson Peggy Roberts clarified: "We've always said nicotine has pharmacological effects, but it's not pharmaceutical." Should the FDA lose the case, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids President Matthew Myers said that the group will be prepared to propose legislation that would give the agency "full regulatory power over the industry" (3/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.