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?

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