Smoking news

USA Today had two stories this week on cigarettes and smoking:

On July 8 the paper reported on a proposal by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to rescind a 1966 guidance that allowed cigarette manufacturers to claim low tar and nicotine yields of cigarettes based on the Cambridge Filter Method, also referred to as "the FTC method," a machine-based test that "smoked" cigarettes. According to FTC's press release, such machine-based measurements are not accurate. "The primary reason for this is smoker compensation--that is, smokers alter their smoking behavior in order to obtain the necessary nicotine dosage."

A July 10 article cited a recent study on secondhand smoke from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There has been a dramatic decline since the early 1990s, mainly because of increased bans on smoking in the workplace and public places and fewer adult smokers, but the article quoted one of the study's authors stating, "It's still high. There is no safe level of exposure." The study was reported in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

On a related note, in Hawaii, the Tobacco Enforcement Unit of the Department of the Attorney General (AG) is charged with enforcing the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement and the state cigarette taxation law. The Unit publishes a Directory (pdf, 73pp/524kB) of tobacco brands and manufacturers permitted to sell cigarettes in Hawaii.

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