Weakening FDA’s Authority Over Tobacco Could Impact Use, Advocates Say
Weakening the Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory authority over tobacco could have an adverse impact on tobacco use, according to advocacy groups.
A federal judge has ordered tobacco companies to pay for corrective statements that disclose the dangers of smoking, the Associated Press reports. Judge Gladys Kessler, of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, said the corrective ads must state that a federal court has concluded the companies “deliberately deceived the American public about the health effects of smoking.” The ads must also state that smoking causes the death on average of 1,200 people a day.
In 2006, Judge Kessler ruled that Big Tobacco firms engaged in racketeering, and were likely to do so again in the future. She ordered tobacco companies to stop using terms like “light” and “low tar” to market cigarettes. She said she wanted the tobacco industry to pay for print and broadcast ads, but did not say what corrective statements must be included in them.
Tuesday’s ruling is the first time she stated what the ads will say, the article notes.
In July, a federal appeals court upheld Judge Kessler’s order that requires tobacco manufacturers to run the corrective ads. The manufacturers hoped the court would overturn her order on the grounds it had been superceded by the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gave the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate the content, marketing and sale of tobacco products.
The companies said the Act eliminated any reasonable likelihood they would commit future violations, removing the need for corrective advertising. The appeals court, in a 3-0 decision, said the oversight provided by the Act does not replace the judge’s ruling on the need for corrective ads.