Showdown with the Marlboro man

Teens and tobacco

The Marlboro man is kidnapping more and more children. Each day nearly 4,800 adolescents aged 11 to 17 are accepting a cigarette from him, an increase of 70 percent in ten years. And once they’ve tried one, 3,000 of them become regular smokers.

Yet despite the surge in smoking, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled March 21 that tobacco is not subject to FDA regulation. Writing for the 5-4 ruling, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor explained that Congress has not given the FDA the authority it needs to regulate tobacco. Then she sounded this warning: “The FDA has amply demonstrated that tobacco use, particularly among children and adolescents, poses perhaps the single most significant threat to public health in the United States.”

 

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