FDA REGULATIONS: ADMINISTRATION PUSHES FOR FINAL VERSION
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials "are sayingThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
privately that they are under pressure" from the White House to
release by next month the final version of proposed regulations
that would restrict tobacco marketing aimed at minors, NEWSWEEK
reports. While FDA spokesperson James O'Hara called the report
"categorically false," sources told NEWSWEEK that the
administration's goal is to release the tobacco regulations
"before the GOP convenes to nominate Bob Dole in San Diego."
CREATING A "WEDGE": NEWSWEEK notes that President Clinton
has been "methodically mounting an anti-smoking crusade for
nearly a year." In addition to the marketing restrictions,
Clinton has asked that tobacco be regulated as a drug, and the
Department of Justice has "launched a criminal probe of tobacco-
industry executives." The Democratic National Committee (DNC)
has even "taken to sending a costumed character called 'Butt
Man'" to presumptive GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole's campaign
GOES BOTH WAYS: While the White House began "sharpening"
the tobacco wedge "last summer," there is one "minor problem:
the wedge [is] hypocritical." NEWSWEEK notes that Clinton and
the Democrats have "taken loads of tobacco money over the years,"
and Democrats "still want tobacco money" and will receive it in
the form of corporate support for their convention from Philip
Morris subsidiary Kraft Foods (Fineman/Isikoff/Hosenball, 7/15
issue). WALL STREET JOURNAL reports that Philip Morris and R.J.
Reynolds each donated money that was sent directly to state
Democratic party "accounts around the country, which receive far
less media scrutiny." A $25,000 donation from Philip Morris was
sent to the Nevada Democratic party, while a $40,000 R.J.
Reynolds donation was divided evenly between the Democratic state
parties in California, Colorado, Nevada and New Jersey. DNC
spokesman David Eichenbaum denied charges the national party
"directed the funds to be distributed to the state parties" or
that the party was "hoping the money" would remain hidden.
Eichenbaum said, "We make absolutely no attempt to hide
contributions from tobacco companies or anyone else." However,
the DNC did give "RJR a list of which states should get the
money, ensuring that it could still be spent to further the
party's national presidential campaign strategy." Eichenbaum
said the list was "merely information rather than a directive"
SPIN CONTROL: Under the headline "Bill Bends Some And
Hedges On Cig$," NEW YORK POST reports Clinton "hotly defended"
the Democrats for taking tobacco money. Clinton said, "We have
an open and free country, and people who are citizens should be
able to contribute to whomever they wish." Clinton added the
money isn't important, but rather the "huge difference" in his
and Dole's tobacco policies (Rauber, 7/6).
DEFINING THE ISSUES: DALLAS MORNING NEWS reports that "[a]
month ago, tobacco was nowhere near the top of the presidential
campaign issue charts. But here it is, one of the rare issues to
catch fire in a race so far lacking much oxygen" (Feeney, 7/7).