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Tobacco-Related News

Advertising revenues. The FTC's annual report to Congress on 1994 cigarette sales and advertising showed the first decrease in promotional spending since 1986. The report stated that the cigarette industry spent $4.83 billion, which was 19.9% less than the $6.03 billion spent in 1993.

Smokeless nicotine inhaler approved. The FDA has approved the first smokeless nicotine inhaler, which will be sold by prescription only to help people stop smoking cigarettes. The FDA said that clinical trials showed that the Nicotrol Inhaler worked about as well as nicotine patches, nasal spray, or gum. Side effects of the inhaler include mouth or throat irritation and cough.

Dentists to discourage cigar smoking. The American Dental Association (ADA) has lauched a nationwide campaign to discourage cigar smoking. The American Cigar Assocoation estimates that Americans purchased 4.4 billion cigars in 1996, up from 3.4 billion in 1993 and 3.7 billion in 1994. An ADA spokesperson suggested that "the upsurge in cigar use is a rebellion against the public health campaigns of the late '80s and early '90s." Cigar smokers are four times as likely as nonsmokers to die from oral, laryngeal, and esophageal cancers, and they have three times the risk of lung cancers [1].

Passive smoking risk. A prospective ten-year study has found that female nonsmokers who said had been regularly exposed to cigarette smoke by co-workers or companions had a 91% higher incidence of heart attack or death than nurses who were not subjected to smoke. The project involved 32,046 nurses, ages 36 to 61, who had not been diagnosed with coronary heart disease when the study began in 1982. More heart attacks occurred with regular exposure than with occasional exposure. The data provide strong evidence that passave smoking is a major contributor to heart disease [2].

FDA can't regulate tobacco. On March 21, 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the Clinton administration's main anti-smoking initiative, ruling the government lacks authority to regulate tobacco as an addictive drug. Ruling 5-4, the justices said the FDA overreached when it sought to crack down on cigarette sales to minors.

References

1. Mark AM. ADA rolls out anti-cigar campaign across country. American Dental News 28(9):1,16, 1997.
2. Kawachi I and others. A prospective study of passive smoking and coronary heart disease. Circulation 95:2374-2379, 1997.

A Suggestion for Activists
Magazines that accept tobacco ads tend to publish little or no advice about tobacco's dangers. Most ads promote the idea that smoking is safe, glamorous, and a sign of independence. Business reply cards for new subscriptions offer a convenient way to send a protest message to the publisher, who must pay for each card received. Just write something nasty and drop in in the mail.

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