CMA: SAYS GLOBAL TOBACCO AGREEMENT WON’T CURB SMOKING
The recent global tobacco agreement between the tobaccoThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
industry and attorneys general who sued the industry to recoup
the costs of treating smoking-related illnesses will neither
reduce the rate of teen smoking nor keep new smokers from
lighting up, according to a new study by the California Medical
Association. "CMA has performed an analysis which strongly
indicates that the proposed tobacco settlement should not be
supported," said CMA President Dr. Rolland Lowe. He added, "Its
inability to either increase cigarette prices or decrease
cigarette consumption in any significant way shows that the
proposed settlement, if enacted, is doomed to fall far short of
the goals we all share." Lowe also expressed concern that the
settlement does not give the Food and Drug Administration
sufficient authority to regulate nicotine.
BY THE NUMBERS
According to the CMA, the agreement would lower the rate of
teen smoking by more than 15%; the settlement calls for a 60%
reduction in the number of teens who smoke. In addition, the
study projects that the price of cigarettes will increase by
eight percent to 10% -- or less that 20 cents per pack -- in the
first year, reaching a maximum of 15% to 17% -- or less than 38
cents -- within 10 years. According to the CMA, an increase of
only 20-40 cents per pack "will not produce significant results."
Lowe said, "We conclude that the tentative agreement must be
dramatically amended to protect the public health of this and
future generations" (CMA release, 7/14).