Harm Reduction

If, as a libertarian, Walter Olson ("The Florida Tobacco Jurors: Anything But Typical," Rule of Law, July 12) is truly against government intervention in tobacco regulation, he should favor the arena of litigation. There must be some distinction between liberty and anarchy. While there are justifiable objections to excessive legal fees in frivolous lawsuits, why Mr. Olson would choose to attack a verdict against the tobacco behemoth is a mystery. His quibbling with the plaintiff attorney's jury selection tactic--that Mr. Rosenblatt had the temerity to actually screen the prospective jurors to weed out those he perceived to be biased against his clients--smacks of frustration with the outcome more than of any rational thought. He is surely aware that this screening is the essence of...

To the Editor:

Holcomb B. Noble's article discussing the heavy burden of asthma faced by poor, largely minority children in New York City (News article, July 27, 1999) neglects to mention a prime trigger of children's asthma: cigarette smoke. Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke is known to increase severity of asthma symptoms, and to impair recovery following hospitalization of asthmatic children.

While the article overlooks the well-established effect of cigarette smoke in exacerbating asthma, it cites the largely unfounded role of pesticides twice. This inappropriate emphasis merely underscores our country's misplaced concern about the impact of trace levels of environmental chemicals, particularly pesticides, on disease. By doing so, the public is encouraged to...

Executive Summary

Active smoking has been recognized as a major cause of disease and death for at least 40 years. But in the past 20 years a growing body of evidence has shown that exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in other words, second hand smoking may also be a threat to health.

Scientists have documented the presence of some of the toxic and carcinogenic...

To the Editor:

A recent study reports that the ads created by Philip Morris to discourage teenage smoking are not only ineffective, but they may actually encourage the habit. (Marketplace, April 7, 1999). This does not come as a big surprise. A cigarette company is hardly the ideal candidate to convince teenagers not to smoke. The viability of the Industry depends on new, young recruits.

But the failure of the Philip Morris campaign to discourage teenage cigarette use should not deter the development of genuine and effective antismoking commercials. These ads do play an important role in decreasing smoking rates among youth. Florida's ad campaign, which has in one year lowered teen smoking by 10%, provides a good example of such efficacy.

What does come as a big...

Executive Summary

The National Health Council reports that 35 percent of American adults of both sexes rely on magazines for health news. Each month, millions of American women look to their favorite women's magazines as primary sources of health information. This is not surprising: Many consumer magazines devote whole sections of each issue to health topics, and their editors sift through mountains of medical news to bring their readers stories that are both catchy and easy to understand. But in the editorial pursuit of novelty, some important health messages¬particularly about the risks of smoking¬are often overlooked.

For years the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) has surveyed the accuracy and relevance of the health and smoking coverage...


Executive SummaryThis report examines the irreversible effects of cigarette smoking on various organ systems and challenges the notion that a few years of exposure to smoking will have no lasting adverse consequences. Our hope is to discourage young people from taking up this deadly habit by appealing to their common sense and better judgment, thereby allowing them to choose for themselves not to smoke. We will not recite the familiar litany of smoking-...

A public health expert and other prominent speakers deplored Philip Morris' latest move to entice young girls to smoke: the "Woman Thing" music campaign where girls get "free" CD's by buying two packs of Virginia Slims cigarettes. At a news conference held today, Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, President of the American Council on Science and Health, urged "Young women of America, let Philip Morris know you are too smart to fall for their tactics! And Americans in general demand that the Congress protect the interests of public health, not those of the Industry."

Grace Mirabella, founder of Mirabella magazine and former editor of Vogue, and Dr. William G. Cahan, senior attending surgeon at Memorial Sloan®¢Kettering Cancer Center, joined Dr. Whelan in speaking out against Philip Morris...

A leading public health consumer group said that any deal with the cigarette industry that includes shielding it from current and future private-sector litigation would be an unparalleled setback for the cause of public health in America.

After the Liggett Group announced a settlement last month of the Medicare reimbursement suits brought by 22 states, a press release from the American Cancer Society reflected the near universal response of the public health community: This action "will significantly advance [our] goals for curtailing the death and disease caused by tobacco use." After all, the health advocates argued, not only was Liggett breaking ranks with the industry by admitting that cigarettes cause disease, are addictive, and are peddled to kids, but Liggett was also planning to pay compensatory damages to the states.

Have we all died and gone to smoke-free heaven? Let's get real.

First, we health advocates have a long history of declaring victory over tobacco only to wake up later to find we've...

What Do the Recent Revelations Mean for Tobacco Control?

On February 28, 1994, Day One, a magazine show produced by ABC News, aired an expose on the tobacco industry's manipulation of nicotine. The segment (and a follow-up segment which aired on March 7, 1994) resulted from a year-long investigation by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Walt Bogdanich, a Day One producer and former Wall Street Journal reporter, and associate producer Keith Summa. The imminent airing...