Use big tobacco’s Nov 26 corrective statements to reduce smoking

The court-ordered publication of “corrective statements” by major U.S. tobacco companies later this month should serve as a reminder that tobacco addiction remains a major health problem in the country and that Big Tobacco has a long history of marketing practices aimed at hooking a new generation on a lethal product, according to an editorial published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

“Corrective Statements From the Tobacco Industry: More Evidence for Why We Need Effective Tobacco Control” recounts the legal history that led a federal court more than a decade ago to order major tobacco companies to take out advertisements in newspapers and on television that outline the scope of the health risk that cigarettes and second-hand smoke pose. After years of fighting the order in the courts, the tobacco industry will begin running these ads on Nov. 26.

Ruling in 2006 on a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice against the tobacco industry under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler wrote, “Defendants have marketed and sold their lethal produce with zeal, with deception, with a single-minded focus on their financial success, and without regard for the human tragedy or social costs that success exacted.”

Full story at Science Daily

Why the marijuana and tobacco policy camps are on very different paths

The regulatory approaches to marijuana and tobacco in the United States are on decidedly different paths and, according to researchers from the U.S. and Australia, neither side appears interested in learning from the other.

“The two policy communities have shown very little interest in each other’s policy debates,” Wayne Hall and Lynn Kozlowski write in a new paper published in the journal Addiction.

Hall, the lead author, is a professor at the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research at the University of Queensland, Australia, and is an expert on marijuana and other drug use issues. Kozlowski is professor of community health and health behavior in the University at Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions and an expert on tobacco use and control.

Full story of marijuana and tobacco policy camps at Science Daily

Study shows role of depression in the ongoing tobacco epidemic

The prevalence of smoking has remained fairly stable over the past decade after declining sharply for many years. To determine whether an increase in certain barriers to successful cessation and sustained abstinence may be contributing to this slowed decline, researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health analyzed changes in the prevalence of depression among current, former and never smokers in the U.S. The team found that depression appeared to have significantly increased in the U.S. from 2005 to 2013 among smokers, as well as among former and never smokers. While the prevalence of depression is consistently highest among smokers, the rate of increase in depression was most prominent among former and never smokers. The full study findings are published online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

The research team, led by Renee Goodwin, PhD, in the Department of Epidemiology, analyzed data from the National Household Survey on Drug Use, an annual cross-sectional study of approximately 497, 000 Americans, ages 12 and over. The prevalence of past 12-month depression was examined annually among current (past 12-month), former (not past 12-month), and lifetime non-smokers from 2005 to 2013. The researchers further analyzed the data by age, gender, and household income.

Full story of depressions role in the tobacco epidemic at Science Daily

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Judge Rules Tobacco Label Change Does Not Create New Product

If a tobacco company changes a label for a product, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cannot consider it a new product for regulatory purposes, a federal judge ruled this week.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta said changing the quantity of a product in packaging does make it a new tobacco product, and requires FDA approval, according to the Winton-Salem Journal.

The three biggest tobacco manufacturers, Altria, Lorillard and Reynolds-American, sued the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services in 2015 over new packaging rules.

Full story of tobacco label change at drugfree.org