Monday, July 24, 2006

Rest of the Story Highlights: Monday, July 24

You will find 5 new posts up today. I don't want any of them to be lost due to the multiple postings, so here is a brief summary:

The first piece highlights 1 of 2 op-eds of mine that were published yesterday. This one, which appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, argues that the Surgeon General misrepresented the science in claiming that brief exposure to secondhand smoke causes heart disease and lung cancer.

The second piece highlights the 2nd of my 2 op-eds published Sunday. This one, which I co-authored with Dr. Alan Blum and appears in the Birmingham News, argues that the FDA tobacco legislation pending before Congress would give the tobacco industry special protections, at the behest of Philip Morris, to protect Big Tobacco at the expense of the public's health.

The third piece highlights a commentary by me and Dr. Blum in this week's issue of The Lancet, released Friday, which argues that Philip Morris' vigorous support for the proposed FDA legislation should lead anti-smoking groups to be skeptical about whether the legislation will protect the public's health rather than the largest tobacco company's profits, as claimed by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Philip Morris in promoting this legislation.

The fourth piece adds further commentary to my post of last Thursday arguing that it is premature for anti-smoking groups to be attacking former Associate Attorney General Robert McCallum of wrongdoing for his role in the DOJ tobacco litigation. Here, I argue that the $130 billion smoking cessation remedy he altered would serve as a strong incentive for the tobacco companies to commit future RICO violations, and therefore was not allowable under the law to begin with.

The fifth piece explains why it is so important for anti-smoking groups not to make premature, undocumented, unsubstantiated attacks against individuals - like Robert McCallum - and how the actions of groups like Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids have put us in the same company as the tobacco industry in terms of making unsubstantiated claims, thus undermining our credibility.

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