Government regulation of tobacco has come under some fierce opposition. Naturally the big tobacco companies do not want any type of regulation and yet one company was a quiet supporter. This company, the Altria Group which is a parent company of Philip Morris, believed the bill would pass so they wanted to make sure they had a say when the bill would be discussed. They believed they could handle regulation they just did not want to see tobacco outlawed for good. While Altria is trying to understand and even supporting the bill, Reynolds America, the parent company of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, was at arm’s length and ended up attacking the FDA. They stated that the FDA was unable of enforcing regulation on tobacco. Their main reason was the FDA is already overwhelmed with trying to keep up with food and drug safety. Altria does not want tobacco to be outlawed permanently and at the same time they are trying to improve their image.
“It may also create the impression that Philip Morris’s products are being made safer and ultimately protect the company from litigation” (McDaniel & Malone, 2005, p. 2). Several hundreds of thousands of people die each year due to cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke cause more than 440,000 premature deaths each year in the United States” (Anonymous, nd, para. 9). Nicotine is extremely addictive and too many kids and teenagers are being lured into smoking. They see a colorful cartoon and flavored cigarettes as cool. “The new law provided the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the power not only to forbid advertising geared toward children but also to regulate what is in cigarettes” (Lawrence & Weber, 2011, p. 191). The main goal in introducing this bill is to deter people of all ages, especially children and teenagers, not to smoke.
Cigarette smoke is a leading cause of cancer. “Smoking is a leading cause of cancer and death from cancer. It causes cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach, and cervix, as well as acute myeloid leukemia” (Anonymous, nd, para. 6). Several hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent every year on the treatment of cancer due to smoking. The biggest incentive is that people would live longer more productive cancer free lives. Children could be children and not smoking at a young age and harming their bodies with cigarettes.
With government control over the tobacco industry the United States could see a dramatic decline in cancer and deaths due to cigarette smoking. “Health advocates predicted that the new FDA standards could eventually reduce some of the 60 cancer-causing carcinogens and 4,000 harmful toxins in cigarette smoke or make cigarettes taste so bad they deterred users” (Lawrence & Weber, 2011, p. 192). By allowing the FDA to regulate the chemicals in cigarettes and outlaw a majority of flavorings it would help in reducing the number of children that would be enticed to try cigarettes. This in turn would save money on health care and many people would live longer more productive cancer free lives.
Anonymous. (nd). Harms of smoking and health benefits of quitting. Retrieved on March 4, 2011, from http://www. cancer. gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Tobacco/cessation Lawrence, A. T. & Weber, J. (2011). Business and society: stakeholders, ethics, public policy. (13th ed. ). New York: McGraw-Hill. McDaniel, P. , A. & Malone, R. , E. (2005). Understanding philip morris’s pursuit of u. s. government regulation of tobacco. Retrieved on March 4, 2011, from http:// escholarship. org/uc/item/35p0r9x2#page-1