Wednesday, October 05, 2005

IN MY VIEW: FORCES International Demonstrates Greater Insight into FDA Legislation than Many Anti-Smoking and Public Health Groups

In a FORCES column that appeared on its web site today, the group concluded that "FDA regulation is part of Philip Morris' plan to become the cigarette monopoly."

FORCES is able to see something which a large number of anti-smoking and public health groups which support the legislation are not able to see: that the primary effect of this legislation will be to institutionalize and freeze the existing cigarette market, thus ensuring that Philip Morris' market dominance will continue into perpetuity, and free up the company's resources that might otherwise have to be spent trying to fight competition from its competitors.

By making it virtually impossible to introduce any new products into the market, the legislation virtually assures that Philip Morris' market dominance will continue and will not be subject to any serious threats from its competitors.

And the only new products that can feasibly be introduced into the market - reduced exposure products - are precisely those which Philip Morris is apparently best positioned to quickly bring out of the research and development area and into the market. The only thing holding them back is the potential liability associated with making any health or reduced exposure claims. The FDA legislation would get rid of this problem, and would give Philip Morris the government's blessing and explicit permission to market its reduced exposure products without having to worry about the risk of liability and litigation.

The Rest of the Story

FORCES has the insight to see what 34 different anti-smoking and public health organizations are apparently blinded to: that the FDA legislation is nothing more than an attempt by Philip Morris, with the unlikely help of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, to solidify its financial position in the cigarette market.

It is not a public health measure in any way, shape, or form.

FORCES can clearly see that. Why are the anti-smoking groups so blind?


norbert hirschhorn said...

You know Michael, there is much reasoned debate among tobacco control advocates about the wisdom of having FDA regulate tobacco, perhaps having to do with what kind of regulation is finally put into place. No one would argue, for example, that pharmaceuticals shouldn't be regulated. So FORCES International have a point if regulation simply becomes a Philip Morris Protection Act.

FORCES International has other interesting ideas,"Powered by reason, driven by passion," as its banner proclaims. Clicking on past headlines at random, I find a sentence from January 21, 2005: "Smoking will kill the smoker and his smoke will kill nonsmokers are articles of faith, not scientific truths."

FORCES International is also not keen on human-driven global warming as a phenomenon ("con game","the 'science' is laughable," January 28, 2005); thinks "the war against obesity and the food industry" is instilled into school children by "social engineers" (February 4, 2005); "No scientific proof that smoking causes cancer" (June 3, 2005, applauding the Scottish judge's blinkered decision),and so forth.

Oddly enough, I like reading the FORCES International web pages. They form a perfect 'anti-particles' to my own views, equally powered by reason and science, and driven by passion.

Anonymous said...

Here are some our good friends at FORCES:

"One of the most important elements when fighting a war is the awareness of what our enemies are up to. We have many enemies, because the criminal agenda of the governments involved in anti-tobacco requires them to spare no investment in exchange for the returns in tobacco taxes, lawsuit settlements, is important to monitor these organizations and induviduals very closely, because they will sooner or later make a mistake that will give us the opportunity to damage them severely, or fold them, or even send them to jail where they belong. We always have to remember that the purpose of FORCES is not limited to the restoration of smokers' rights, but it has as final goal the civil and criminal prosecution of the anti-tobacco operatives."