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FDA Snuffs Out Smokeless Tobacco Alternatives July 11, 2007

Posted by federalist in Healthcare, Regulation.

Kevin Helliker shows that Congress and the FDA lack any sense of proportion on the public health issue of tobacco use.

Among other hurdles, a company would have to prove to the Food and Drug Administration that touting the lower risks of smokeless tobacco would make the product an appealing alternative to smokers without attracting new users from the population at large.

Current nicotine addicts dose themselves by intentionally inhaling lungs-full of smoke … and then blowing it back out to envelope hapless bystanders. They casually carry and dispose of burning stubs of paper and flammable tobacco, which cause fires that directly kill hundreds of people each year and destroy $billions of property. Now tobacco companies are ready to market alternative nicotine delivery systems that everyone agrees are safer than cigarettes, but the FDA has muzzled them lest in the process they entice non-smoking adults to take up an addiction to nicotine (which depending on the delivery system poses relatively small but quantifiable health risks).

Have they no perspective? I am sure that an overwhelming majority of Americans will gladly tolerate any number of smokeless nicotine addicts as long as it means we no longer have to traverse clouds of rancid tobacco smoke to get in or out of public buildings. And given the known current costs of 20% of Americans smoking cigarettes it seems likely that we would be a healthier nation even if every adult took up a smokeless nicotine habit instead.

This myopic regulatory thrust is futher proof that Congress and the FDA are incompetent to adjudicate public access to drugs.


1. federalist - July 23, 2007

Dr. Henry Miller note in a letter to the WSJ:

All forms of tobacco are not equally risky; smokeless tobacco causes neither lung cancer nor other pulmonary diseases; nor do its users experience an enhanced risk of heart attacks. Oral cancers are the only important adverse health effect of smokeless tobacco, and they are relatively infrequent (about half as great as in smokers).

2. gingeneric1970 - June 11, 2009

You should check out electronic cigs. None of the 4000 plus carcinogens of traditional cigs. Only nicotine and propylene glycol, and varying amounts of nicotine, too. Some with no nicotine. Look at jaydee045.wordpress.com for more info.

3. federalist - April 25, 2010

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