Washington Babylon — July 21, 2008, 8:30 am

Congress and Menthols

From a reader: “This might be the sickest, slickest thing to come out of Congress since the Dems took over, and, I think, something that Henry Waxman is losing a lot of sleep over. Waxman got Phillip Morris and the AMA to sign on to a measure that would put tobacco under the FDA, which on its own is a big deal. But as part of the compromise, the FDA has no regulatory jurisdiction over the content of advertising, or–critically–menthol cigarettes. Menthols are a) more addictive b) more carcinogenic and c) smoked more by young people and African Americans.

Yet other than a recent piece (not available online) by Shawn Zeller of CQ, there’s been very little coverage of the issue:

Food and Drug Administration authority over the tobacco industry has long been a goal of smoking’s opponents, but aggressive lobbying by tobacco companies has staved it off. However, now that the House seems on the verge of acting on legislation by Democrat Henry A. Waxman of California to grant the FDA regulatory authority, a group of doctors is lobbying to stop the measure — on the grounds that it would not go far enough.

Nearly 700 public health and medical groups, including the American Medical Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, have lined up behind
Waxman’s bill. So it would seem to be an uphill climb for the 200-member American
Association of Public Health Physicians to oppose it, especially since the legislation has even received the blessing of the largest U.S. cigarettemaker, Philip Morris USA.

But the public health doctors insist the compromise Waxman struck with Philip Morris would do too much to accommodate tobacco interests. “The bottom line is that if this bill is passed, it will do more harm than good,” says Joel Nitzkin, who heads the physicians’ group. “It gives the image of FDA authority, but not the substance.”

Share
Single Page

More from Ken Silverstein:

Commentary November 17, 2015, 6:41 pm

Shaky Foundations

The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.

From the November 2013 issue

Dirty South

The foul legacy of Louisiana oil

Perspective October 23, 2013, 8:00 am

On Brining and Dining

How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

December 2016

With Child

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Standing Rock Speaks

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Prose by Any Other Name

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The New Red Scare

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Separated at Birth

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Priest in the Trees

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
With Child·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. 'Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.'"
Photograph (detail) by Lara Shipley
Article
Swat Team·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"As we shall see, for the sort of people who write and edit the opinion pages of the Post, there was something deeply threatening about Sanders and his political views."
Illustration (detail) by John Ritter
Article
Escape from The Caliphate·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"When Matti invited me on a tour of the neighborhood, I asked about security. 'The message has already been passed to ISIS that you’re here,' he said. 'But don’t worry. I guarantee I could bring even you in and out of the Islamic State.'"
Photograph (detail) by Alice Martins
Article
In This One·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. 'Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.'"
Illustration (detail) by Shonagh Rae
Article
“Don’t Touch My Medicare!”·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Medicare’s popularity, however, comes with almost no understanding of what the program is and how it works."
Illustration (detail) by Nate Kitch

Rank of Richard Nixon masks among the top U.S. costumer’s best-selling political masks over the last five years:

1

A small meteorite injured an adolescent German.

It was reported that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Trump to discuss issues relating to women and families, and Trump handed the phone to his daughter.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Who Goes Nazi?

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."

Subscribe Today