Coalition Launches Ad Campaign Calling for FDA Regulation of Tobacco Products
A coalition of public health groups, including the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Tuesday launched an advertising campaign asking Congress to grant the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco, Reuters News reports. Legislation giving the agency such regulatory power has been introduced in both the House and the Senate but remains stalled (Reuters News, 7/23). Last December the groups filed a petition with the agency to regulate several new tobacco products, including light cigarettes and nicotine water. The Supreme Court ruled in March 2000 that the FDA does not have the authority to regulate "traditional tobacco products" (California Healthline, 12/19/01). The new print and broadcast ads claim that tobacco companies are not complying with the 1998 tobacco settlement, in which the companies agreed to stop marketing their products to children and teenagers. The coalition cites a recent Federal Trade Commission report on cigarette marketing expenditures that found that in the two years after the settlement, tobacco companies increased their spending on marketing by 42% to a record $9.6 billion in 2000 -- $26 million a day. The ad states, "The FDA has to approve any ingredient put into macaroni and cheese, but the ammonia, formaldehyde and arsenic found in cigarettes are unregulated." Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in a statement, "FDA authority is critical to protecting our kids from tobacco industry marketing and ending the industry's continued deception about its deadly products" (Reuters News, 7/23).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.