FDA Tobacco Regulation vs. Harm Reduction

Jacob Sullum writes in Reason about the downside of the FDA tobacco regulation bill. CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman earlier wrote to Congress expressing concerns about the bill and its potentially negative effects on public health. The bill would potentially make it harder to market certain reduced-risk tobacco products to smokers, to wean them off cigarettes.

Sullum also writes about the anomalies that come from tobacco regulation, such as European regulations that permit cigarettes, which pose many serious health risks, yet ban lower-risk tobacco products such as snus (a form of smokeless tobacco). As The New York Times notes, tobacco companies are testing the waters for introducing such reduced-risk products into the United States, but fear that federal tobacco regulation will be an impediment to their doing so.

As Kerry Howley notes in earlier coverage at Reason, provisions of the FDA tobacco regulation bill have been criticized for being anticompetitive and allegedly contravening WTO trade regulations.