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Regulating a Less Unhealthy Cigarette

October 6, 2014

This article argues that the FDA jeopardizes public health by not developing an appropriate benefit-cost analysis of the proposed rule.

two tumblers with liquor and a lit cigarrette

This article argues that the FDA jeopardizes public health by not developing an appropriate benefit-cost analysis of the proposed rule.  The FDA “anticipates,” without quantifying, substantial benefits from reducing harm by regulating e-cigarettes and non-cigarette tobacco products. The FDA also does not adequately assess costs that appear likely from its suppression of the e-cigarette market. The evolving literature on e-cigarettes strongly suggests they help smokers to quit smoking. The proposed rule endangers public health by pushing e-cigarette manufacturers to focus efforts toward developing attributes unrelated to improved public health, thereby promoting combustible tobacco use and reducing the number of smokers who would use e-cigarettes to quit or reduce cigarette consumption. Public health would worsen because e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes

Article Tags
Alcohol & Tobacco
Author
Michael L. Marlow is professor of economics at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
mmarlow@calpoly.edu