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Why The FDA "Tobacco Control" Act is Bad Law

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Message John Jonik

Ten Reasons Why The FDA "Tobacco Control" Act is Bad Law

What would progressives etc. have done 62 years ago to stop Prohibition of hemp/marijuana plants? The war on "sinful" tobacco is not much different...and it's being pulled off by, and for the benefit of, the same chemical cartel that did it so well before. This is part of corporate war on nature and any public domain anything...whether we like tobacco smoke or not. It is most important to protect the unpopular. The popular needs no protection.

Here then are some top reasons why this FDA law must be re-visited, and repealed.

1) This law makes typical cigarettes more dangerous: FDA is empowered to lower nicotine levels to make all cigarettes "light", thus causing more smoking, deeper inhaling, and more exposures to many non-tobacco toxins and cancer-causing substances.

2) It retains the worst past and present harms: The FDA is forbidden to address the 450 or so registered tobacco pesticides and the residues they leave on tobacco, and it will ignore the phosphate fertilizers that contaminate typical products with carcinogenic PO-210 radiation. The bill considers them as "farm" issues left to the USDA, which has long approved those substances.

3) False claims: The bill wrongly describes nicotine as "harmful". It is not. The FDA itself has deemed it safe in many nicotine-delivery products. It says "tobacco kills" though it means Industrially-Contaminated Smoking Products, some that may not even contain tobacco.

4) Use of inappropriate colloquial and marketing terms: The bill accepts the cigarette industry's deceptive term for itself, "tobacco companies", as if the products are automatically just tobacco or tobacco at all in some cases. Cigarettes, though they may appear to be tobacco, though they contain nicotine and are made by "tobacco companies", are not required to contain any tobacco at all---unless labeling says it is there. Products may usually be based on some parts of the tobacco plant, usually made into a paper-like "reconstituted tobacco", but, after processing and high levels of adulteration, it is absurd, deceitful, widely confusing, unscientific, and even liability-dodging to maintain the name of the base material.

5) No evidence is cited about tobacco itself: Tobacco is the ostensible target of this legislation, but no studies of tobacco itself, without adulterants or contaminants---have been presented to justify any unqualified claims about tobacco causing deaths or diseases. The FDA bill accepts studies about highly contaminated cigarettes that ignore those contaminants, and then concludes that tobacco is the villain. This is to blame a car, not the occupants or their guns and bullets, for drive-by shootings.

6) It ignores nicotine benefits, and threatens Prohibition: The FDA, a drug agency, ignores the medicinal drug effects of nicotine for stress relief, alertness, digestive relief, appetite suppression and symptomatic relief for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other pathologies. It ignores that those benefits are produced in spite of hosts of government-approved industrial toxic and cancer-causing contaminants. So, this bill will leave uninformed, insufficiently-warned smokers with the worst, most deadly contaminants---pesticides, dioxins, and PO-210 radiation---while reducing the beneficial components. This ominously threatens that, one day, the FDA will find "no medicinal value in tobacco" (because it removed those values itself) and will call for outright Prohibition. Don't stop building prisons yet.

7) Serious child harms ignored and allowed: The bill, repeatedly expressing concern for young people, entirely ignores the topic of dioxin which, in cigarette smoke, comes from still-legal use of chlorine tobacco pesticides and chlorine-bleached cigarette paper. (Big Chlorine---"too big to fail".) More may come from many added non-tobacco crop products, none likely organic. Point being that dioxins are especially harmful to young people, and to fetuses and pregnant women. The FDA's "solution" is to get unwitting, unprotected victims to "just say no"...or to seek what it calls "cessation". It will not say "no" to chlorine interests as they continue poisoning people, adults and children alike.

8) Medical Science ignored: The bill ignores that many if not most so-called "smoking related" diseases are impossible to be caused by smoke from any plant, but that most or all of those diseases are known effects of exposures to pesticides and dioxins.

9) First Amendment problems: The bill would make it virtually impossible for alternative cigarette makers to exercise speech rights to truthfully communicate that a cigarette is organic or additive free---or free of pesticides, free of radiation, free of burn accelerants, or free of chlorine adulterants---because to do so would suggest "reduced risk". The bill does not require labeling that says, perhaps, "Warning: Maximized Risk due to pesticide, chlorine, radiation and burn accelerant contamination". Complicit parties are duly saved from liabilities, and prosecution.

10) It guarantees and creates crime escalation: The bill expects and predicts that it will create Prohibition-style crimes of illicit trade and smuggling and so forth. The bill says that this trade even supports "terrorism". Smokers, apparently, are unpatriotic causes of some future 9/11. The law will require cigarette makers to pay millions of dollars for the regulatory program, but it kindly does not forbid the firms from simply passing costs to customers. This will raise prices and the value of cigarettes to illicit traders, including those endlessly-useful "terrorists", and will escalate crimes of theft and smuggling. Bad laws often cause more crimes and harms than they prevent, as we know from over 60 years of Reefer Madness laws aimed at that other smokable and medicinal public-domain natural plant (and it's non-smokable cousin, hemp).

A solution is available. Sensible, justifiable, socially-beneficial law would not impose costly and socially-disruptive regulations and burdens on millions of people and businesses, including those on sovereign Indian lands; it would simply bar the relatively few cigarette manufacturers from contaminating smoking products with untested and known harmful non-tobacco components. That radical idea would instantly spread to foreign lands.

This sensible tactic would cut tobacco use, make cigarettes less appealing to young people, reduce risk of fires, eliminate harms from the pesticides, dioxins and radiation, remove justification for many of the smoking bans and regressive taxes, and even---ideally---lead to the replacement of pesticide-intensive tobacco farms with organic tobacco farms. Even wildlife would benefit. And peace-pipes would be again legal in public places.

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Long time activist in areas relating to industrial toxics, media content and control, death penalty, Mumia Abu-Jamal, hemp prohibition, civil rights, insurance influence in public governing, religious influence in public governing, unsafe foods, (more...)
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