Public Health Physicians: Philip Morris Drafted FDA Tobacco Law

The American Association of Public Health Physicians (AAPHP), who opposed the new bill giving the U.S. government regulatory authority over cigarettes and other tobacco products, says the bill was essentially written by Philip Morris for the company's own benefit. In a July 2, 2009 interview on Democracy Now, Dr. Joel Nitzkin, Chair of AAPHP's Tobacco Control Task Force, said the bill was negotiated between Philip Morris and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and that "those appointed from Tobacco-Free Kids to negotiate on behalf of the public health community really had no understanding of tobacco-related science, of how and why kids initiate tobacco use, or the steps that could be taken to stop them." Dr. Nitzkin said "the bill gives the appearance of federal regulation of tobacco products while assuring Philip Morris will be able to continue to market their current cigarette products with little interference from federal authorities. The bill also gives PM protection against future liability and protects the company from competition from other tobacco companies and smokeless tobacco products." Dr. Nitzkin points out that, with the exception of the provision requiring graphic health warning labels on cigarettes, every other provision in the bill that deals with the restriction of marketing tobacco products "falls into one of two categories: either it's already in place as a result of the Master Settlement Agreement, or it has already been thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court."