Letter to the Editor: Watch the money
Jay Evensen reported that Phillip Morris is playing to win the tobacco game in his article "Phillip Morris using good offense in its defense" (Deseret News Sept. 5).
I thought I should look into the matter.
Congress is once again trying to pull a fast one on the American public. The DeWine/Kennedy bill currently in Congress would give the FDA authority to regulate tobacco products. This is just another example of big business and big government working hand in hand. If this bill were to pass, the FDA would have to put valuable resources towards tobacco regulation and thus take resources away from getting drugs approved for diseases like cancer and AIDS. This would also cost the taxpayers millions if not billions of dollars. People who smoke already know the consequences, but it is a choice they make. People who get cancer, AIDS or other deadly diseases usually don't acquire those diseases by choice.
Phillip-Morris and its parent group Altria will benefit the most from this bill. They could go hand in hand with the FDA and virtually put all other tobacco companies out of business. We would see a monopoly like no other and this monopoly would not allow for less harmful products to enter the marketplace. Additionally, the FDA would regulate what the public does not know about cigarettes. Isn't this an infringement on our first amendment rights? FDA control over the tobacco industry is not the right way to go. We need to devote more resources to educating people on the dangers of smoking.
Evensen said it best when he noted that people should "watch the money.".