Should Congress Decide the Future of the Tobacco Industry?

By McCain, John; Levy, Robert A. | Insight on the News, May 11, 1998 | Go to article overview

Should Congress Decide the Future of the Tobacco Industry?


McCain, John, Levy, Robert A., Insight on the News


Yes: the public demands that lawmakers intercede on behalf of America's youth.

Smoking, according to the American Medical Association, is nothing less than a pediatric epidemic. Half a million Americans die of smoking-related illnesses, the vast majority of whom take up the habit in their teens.

Today, 3,000 children will begin a lifetime smoking addiction that quite likely will kill one-third of them. No fewer will begin tomorrow and every day thereafter unless we act.

These grim statistics, though staggering, can't begin to capture the human pain, suffering and loss of life they represent. Most everyone has a family member or close friend whose life ended early from a smoking-related disease. Enough is enough. The time for action is now.

Public-health authorities, including former surgeon general C. Everett Koop and past Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, head, David Kessler, agree that only a comprehensive approach to the problem of youth smoking will work.

Recently, the Senate Commerce Committee, which I chair, approved the National Tobacco Policy and Youth Smoking Reduction Act by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 19-1. The bill, modeled after the plan proposed by 40 state attorneys general last summer, is tough medicine for a tough problem.

The measure was developed in cooperation with the attorneys general, representatives of the public -health sector and the Clinton administration. It contains the six major initiatives experts say must be jointly undertaken if we are to cure the pediatric epidemic of tobacco use. These elements include: (1) advertising restrictions to eliminate marketing appeals to youth; (2) higher cigarette prices to deter underage consumption; (3) aggressive youth-smoking reduction targets and industry penalties for nonattainment; (4) stronger enforcement of youth tobacco-access rules; (5) public disclosure, oversight and regulation of cigarette ingredients; and (6) industry payments to compensate for smoking-related medical costs and to finance smoking prevention, cessation and medical-research programs.

First, marketing and advertising. Documents disclosed in courts and Congress prove that tobacco companies have targeted and groomed the youth market to replace the 400,000 customers they "lose" each year. Studies show that young people are particularly susceptible to the industry's marketing pitches. So effective have these companies been at appealing to youth, that many children can identify Joe Camel as readily as they do Barney or cartoon characters.

The bill would place vast advertising and marketing restrictions on the tobacco industry, including a ban on billboards and outdoor advertising at sports arenas, as well as a prohibition of color ads and the use of human and animal figures. It would restrict point-of-sale advertising to ensure that cigarette pitches aren't directed at children and would require bold, new warning labels on cigarette packaging. And, the tobacco industry would not be permitted to pay Hollywood to have its products featured in entertainment media.

Second higher cigarette prices. Experts say the most important step to deter youth consumption is to hike the price of tobacco products. Health studies show that consumption of only a modest number of cigarettes can result in clinical addiction, and that higher pricing is essential to deter underage use. Accordingly, the bill would increase the price per pack of cigarettes by a minimum of $1.10 over five years. The Clinton administration believes that this hike, included in the president's budget request, could cut youth consumption in half.

Third, youth smoking-reduction targets. Four-and-one-half million underage Americans use tobacco, and the number is growing.

The bill calls for a 60 percent reduction in youth consumption within 10 years and levies hefty financial penalties on the tobacco industry for failing to achieve them. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Should Congress Decide the Future of the Tobacco Industry?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.