Seventeen years after federal prosecutors sued the tobacco industry, a full decade after a court ruled that Big Tobacco’s biggest players had maintained an illegal racketeering enterprise in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization [RICO] Act, and nearly seven years since they lost their appeal in that case, these companies are still dragging their feet creating the public warning ads they were ordered to make many, many years ago. The judge who has had to preside over this drawn-out ordeal has had enough. [More]
In June 2009, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act became law, directing the Food and Drug Administration to not only create larger health warnings, but to include graphic images in the labels. And when the U.S. Supreme Court shot down a tobacco-industry fight against these labels in April 2013, it was supposed to get the ball rolling again on these new warnings. But in the years since, there’s been no apparent movement on the matter and the FDA won’t say when, or even if, these Congressionally mandated labels will become a reality. [More]
On Sunday night, John Oliver called out the tobacco industry, and particularly Philip Morris, for the practice of threatening small and poor countries with complicated, expensive international trade lawsuits if they try to strictly regulate cigarette marketing. But while Big Tobacco has the coffers to pay for costly legal battles, it does a really poor job of trying to defend its actions. [More]
On Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver took an in-depth look at how the tobacco industry uses expensive lawsuits and byzantine international trade agreements to keep countries from pushing for stronger regulation on cigarettes. But rather than just call Big Tobacco out for its bad behavior, Oliver also offered a helpful solution that might make all sides happy. [More]
With medical marijuana now legal in nearly half the country and pot now a legal retail item in Washington and Colorado, it would make sense that the nation’s tobacco companies would be seeing the potential for making green from green. And a new report uncovers documents showing that the tobacco industry has been thinking about marijuana long before most of the people who smoke it today were even born. [More]
Back in June we noted that the FDA was about to get a lot more say over the tobacco industry if the Senate approved a new bill. Well they did, and so yesterday the FDA flexed its new muscles by banning fruit, herb, spice, and candy flavorings from cigarettes. That’s right: clove cigarettes were just banned by the FDA, which is bad news for gothy teens and great news for everyone else.
The Senate has approved FDA regulation of tobacco. No more “low tar” labels or flavored tobacco, and the FDA will now need to know and approve all ingredients in tobacco products. It is likely to pass the House, and President Obama plans to sign the bill. [MSNBC] (Thanks, Greg!)
The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee voted 13-8 to empower the FDA to regulate tobacco products. States and municipalities have spent years shoving cigarettes out of the public domain, but the FDA would be able to control cigarette advertising, mandate bigger, European-style warning labels, and regulate nicotine content. Only Congress has the power to ban cigarettes outright. From the Boston Globe:
Yesterday’s slim majority however, came as Republican-sponsored amendments loom that could gut the bill’s main intent.