Apparently, two of the three largest American cigarette companies are going to sue the FDA for being willing to do its job fully.  The FDA passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in June regulating cigarette marketing, and allowing the agency to reduce nicotine in tobacco products, block labels such “low tar” and “light,” and ban candy flavorings (according to an AP article, found at the bottom of this update).  The companies are suing with the argument that such legislation imposes on their freedom of speech.  The lawsuit does not challenge FDA authority over tobacco.  The Food and Drug Administration, after all, is supposed to regulate and products sold as food or drugs.  Pretty simple.  But according to the article:

“The companies say in their lawsuit that the law, which takes full effect in three years, prohibits them from using ‘color lettering, trademarks, logos or any other imagery in most advertisements, including virtually all point-of-sale and direct-mail advertisements.’  The complaint also says the law prohibits tobacco companies from ‘making truthful statements about their products in scientific, public policy and political debates.'”

Truthful statements?  Oh, I’m sure they make some.  But that doesn’t stop misdirection, or unimportant ‘truths’ from clouding the important facts of the matter.  All in all, the stronger truths are that (1) cigarettes are addictive, and (2) cause lots and lots of painful deaths.  What ‘truths’ could they advertise that could combat those

Tobacco representative: “Uh, um. . . well, tobacco is a plant, and not all plants are bad for you.”

Media: “. . . Are you nuts?”

. . . Well, okay, that portrayal was inaccurate.  This is, after all, American media, and so the media response might be more like this:

Media: “. . . Well, you sure do have a good point.  The debate over whether cigarettes are healthy or not rages on.  This is perhaps why the newest Idiot Poll shows that 15% of people think the U.S. government is trying to fatten us up so they have a food source after the zombie apocalypse, and %35 aren’t sure.”

Well, perhaps I should take this issue more seriously.  But cigarette companies are hideous leeches on the populace, and this lawsuit is doomed to fail if there is even an ounce of common sense left in our judicial system.  FDA standards, positively, create consumer protections that are important, and negatively, create a bar that is low enough to allow our consumption of deadly or dangerous items, while creating a barrier of entry into these markets to protect monopolized industries.  My point here is this. . . many governmental regulatory standards are relatively meaningless anyway.  They are oftentimes better than nothing, but all-in-all regulation only gets so far as to ban only those items that both almost necessarily result in death and are inessential to an industry.  If the FDA truly regulated industries, they would at leastforce cigarette companies to spend some of their outrageous fortune developing tobacco plants that have carcinogenic chemicals and nicotine removed, in the same manner than Monsanto developed seeds with the ability to reproduce removed.  Giving the FDA increased control, however, is a start in the right direction.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_tobacco_lawsuit;_ylt=AqoHZu__1LEed5Cb_ronKAqs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTM0NGRlbDl0BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkwODMxL3VzX3RvYmFjY29fbGF3c3VpdARjcG9zAzgEcG9zAzUEcHQDaG9tZV9jb2tlBHNlYwN5bl9oZWFkbGluZV9saXN0BHNsawNtYWpvcmNpZ2FyZXQ

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