Washington Post Says Bush Should Support FDA Regulation of Tobacco
By not publicly supporting FDA regulation of tobacco, "President Bush invites only skepticism that he is serious about the problem of tobacco and health," a Washington Post editorial today says. It is a "telling reflection" of the Bush administration's "failure to address the problem of tobacco" that when HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson said earlier this week that he supports FDA regulation of tobacco, he prefaced his remarks by saying that he was not "speaking for the administration," the Post says. While acknowledging that it is early in Bush's term and that Congress has the "primary role" in granting FDA authority over tobacco, the Post says that the "irony" of the administration's not regulating tobacco is that regulation is "the only alternative to continued and ever-expanding litigation." If the Bush administration is "serious about civil justice reform," the Post says, it should be "eager" to remove tobacco enforcement from trial lawyers and create a "legal structure in which to manage" the industry. The Post concludes, "There is no reason for Mr. Thompson, on an issue of this importance, to have to weaken his ... words" (Washington Post, 3/30).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.