Posts Tagged ‘tobacco’

Want to Legalize Marijuana? Learn from Regulating Alcohol and Tobacco

By Michele Simon and Leslie Zellers

Some commentators have compared the current effort to legalize marijuana to the post-prohibition days of alcohol. And many advocates for marijuana legalization are making the comparison to alcohol. Indeed the entire campaign in Colorado in 2012 was called “Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol.” But if supporters of marijuana legalization are serious about this comparison, they might learn some valuable lessons from both alcohol and tobacco control. In each of these areas, advocates have spent decades figuring out what works and what doesn’t in regulating legal products that also have the potential for harm.

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Chief Merchant of Death for Philip Morris International Exits Stage Left

Photo of Louis Camilleri by Daniel Acker/ Bloomberg News

By Michele Simon and John Stewart

This week, when tobacco giant Philip Morris International hosts it annual shareholders’ meeting in New York, the company will honor outgoing CEO Louis Camilleri for his years of service. But a look back at Camilleri’s tenure shows a trail and death and destruction unworthy of celebration.

In 2008, parent company Altria Group spun off the international division of Philip Morris to focus more on “emerging markets,” the euphemism corporations use to describe the exploitation of Global South nations. For decades, as the regulatory environment and public sentiment has turned against smoking in the U.S., tobacco corporations have set their sights overseas. As a result, Philip Morris International now derives more revenue from Asia than from the European Union, and nearly 80 percent of tobacco-related deaths occur in the Global South.

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When Will FDA Stand Up to Big Tobacco?

Many food advocates mistakenly believe that we just need to follow in the footsteps of the tobacco control movement and then we will win. It’s certainly true impressive gains have been made in reducing smoking rates in the United States. And the World Health Organization’s global tobacco treaty has tremendous potential to save lives around the world. Nevertheless, the public health crisis caused by tobacco remains quite serious.

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