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Originally published June 12 2009

Senate Passes Pathetic Tobacco Control Bill

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) There's no other word to describe it: The U.S. Senate's tobacco control bill is pathetic. It bans candy cigarettes and fruit-flavored cigarettes, but doesn't even require cigarette companies to disclose the ingredients they use until nearly a year-and-a-half later. The bill bans the use of the word "light" from cigarette packages, but even the tobacco companies admit this will make virtually no difference, as smokers have grown accustomed to buying cigarettes labeled with color codes that indicate a "light" designation.

And perhaps most importantly, this bill now puts the FDA in the position of approving the marketing and consumption of a product that directly promotes heart disease, strokes and cancer. The FDA, in other words, will now lend its stamp of approval to a product that openly kills people.

Tobacco as an FDA-approved drug?

If the FDA has any ethics whatsoever, it must ban tobacco products outright. For how can the Food and Drug Administration approve the marketing and selling of a deadly carcinogenic product when, at the same time, it bans cherry growers from describing the everyday health benefits of cherries?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is responsible for approving the marketing and distribution of both foods and drugs. Cigarettes are obviously not foods or dietary supplements, and since tobacco is inhaled for its pharmacological effects, that clearly puts cigarettes in the drugs category. So if this bill becomes law, it will force the FDA to declare tobacco to be a drug.

So if tobacco is a drug, then where are the safety tests required for drug approval? The FDA assaults fruit and herb companies on a daily basis, threatening them with being shut down for selling "unapproved drugs," and yet now the FDA is about to be put in the position of approving an admittedly deadly product that has no health benefits whatsoever while contributing to serious degenerative disease!

Interestingly, this position is not at all unusual for the FDA. The agency has already granted approval to thousands of toxic chemicals that openly harm human health -- pharmaceuticals. FDA-approved drugs, after all, kill over 100,000 Americans each year. If the FDA's portfolio of drugs includes tobacco, that number will rise to well over half a million Americans killed each year by FDA-approved drugs!

Furthermore, it would make laughable any claim by the FDA that it is working to "protect the public." As the agency approving the marketing, sale and consumption of a product that inarguably kills over 400,000 people a year, the FDA would cement its position as a peddler of poison.

The War on (some) Drugs

Placing tobacco under "approved" status at the FDA also raises a glaring contradiction in the U.S. government's so-called "War on Drugs." Tobacco is, without question, a psychoactive, highly-addictive drug that is consumed by people in an addictive and destructive way. Marijuana, by comparison, is less addictive, making it far less destructive to health overall. So why is tobacco about to become an FDA-approved drug while marijuana remains an herb whose very possession results in a consumer being branded a criminal and thrown in prison?

Putting tobacco in the FDA's portfolio only serves to highlight the hilarious contradictions in U.S. drug policy, showing it to be solely about protecting corporate drug profits, not protecting people from dangerous drugs.

Wanna sell more drugs? Push more tobacco...

Has anyone realized the huge conflict of interest in turning over tobacco regulation to the FDA? The FDA's biggest customers (corporations that pay the FDA money) earn their profits precisely from treating the very diseases caused by tobacco consumption. This creates an incentive for the FDA to promote more tobacco, thereby boosting the long-term revenue potential of its Big Pharma clients.

This obvious conflict of interest is one reason why the FDA cannot be trusted to regulate tobacco in a way that serves the public interest. Rather, tobacco regulation is likely to be used as a way to promote more tobacco use by declaring it to be "approved" by the FDA.

It's astounding that it took the U.S. Senate over fifteen years to pass a tobacco bill that turns out to be a pathetic attempt to reduce smoking and, in fact, might actually increase the perception of cigarettes being "safe" and "approved" by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Light up, kids! It's FDA approved!

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