Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Déjà Vu -- Tobacco Companies Sue Again

The ink is barely dry on the law giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory authority over tobacco products. The specific tobacco rules haven’t even been written yet. That hasn’t stopped R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard and other tobacco companies from filing a lawsuit challenging the new law. The lawsuit, filed in tobacco-friendly Kentucky, seeks to overturn significant portions of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act dealing with tobacco product advertising, marketing and labeling.

The language of the Act was carefully drafted to stay within the boundaries of the First Amendment and to meet the objective of saving thousands of lives otherwise lost to smoking and other tobacco use. The advertising and marketing restrictions had a test run in 1996 as part of the FDA Tobacco Rule that was cleared by the US Department of Justice. Obviously, the tobacco companies are just “blowing smoke” as they have been for decades – choosing to ignore the suffering, disease and death they have caused children, adults and families throughout the United States and around the world.

Let’s not let the tobacco companies have the last say on this critical issue. Let your voice be heard that strong regulations protecting all Americans are long overdue. The FDA is accepting comments on the new regulations until September 29, 2009. Go to www.regulations.gov to support the call for strong regulatory protections on all tobacco products.

Diane Canova
Managing Senior Fellow
& Senior Program Officer


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