Monday, 21 December 2009 22:57

Bill Godshall Responds to FDA on Tobacco Regulations

Written by Bill Godshall
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Bill Godshall of Smokefree Pennsylvania to FDA Tobacco Czar Lawrence Deyton

There are just days remaining (December 28 is the deadline) to submit public comments to the US FDA on tobacco regulations.   Here is where you can find more information about FDA tobacco regulations.  In public comments submitted on September 28, Smokefree Pennsylvania urged the FDA to:

  • truthfully inform smokers and the public that smokefree tobacco/nicotine products are far less hazardous alternatives to cigarettes, and that millions of smokers have already reduced their health risks by switching to smokefree tobacco/nicotine products,
  • eliminate the misleading "This product is not a safe alternative to cigarettes" warning on smokeless products,
  • eliminate the unsubstantiated "This product may cause mouth cancer" warning from snus and other low nitrosamine smokeless products,
  • require a warning on all cigarette packs stating "Smokefree tobacco and nicotine products are less hazardous alternatives to cigarettes",
  • evaluate and publish the relative and comparable health risks of different tobacco/nicotine products,
  • establish stricter standers for "modified risk" and "reduced exposure" claims for cigarettes than for smokefree tobacco products,
  • oppose cigarette emission standards, as they would perpetuate the safer cigarette fraud because humans smoke differently than machines,
  • require a warning on all cigarette packs stating “There is no such thing as a safer cigarette, as all cigarettes are similarly hazardous",
  • approve NY State Health Commissioner Daines' petition to make NRT more accessible and affordable to smokers, and to change NRT pack warnings to provide comparable health benefit and risk information about NRT use versus continued cigarette use,
  • approve temporary and long term usage of NRT products for smokers and other tobacco users,
  • inform smokers and the public that most ex-smokers have quit cold turkey (not by using NRT or Rx products),
  • redefine electronic cigarettes as a new category of tobacco products, and propose reasonable and responsible e-cigarette regulations,
  • acknowledge huge declines in youth tobacco usage during past decade, and FDA's statutory and constitutional limitations to further reduce youth tobacco usage,
  • oppose banning menthol cigarettes, as doing so would create a huge black market, and
  • oppose bannning flavorings/additives in cigars or smokefree tobacco products.

Bill Godshall
Executive Director
Smokefree Pennsylvania

1926 Monongahela Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15218
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[Editors Note:  Bill Godshall is a long-time anti-smoking activist.  He is now being called a traitor by many of his former colleagues.  He still is for the eventual elimination of cigarettes BUT sees smokeless tobacco, snus, and other methods as a way to achieve it without torturing nicotine-addicted current smokers in the process.

Bill and I do not agree on everything.  Our initial conversation was long and "interesting".   But I do support Bill Godshall because he is not an anti-all-tobacco zealot.  He recognizes there is a middle ground where both sides of tobacco debate can win. We can carry on a dialog; not just throw bumper-sticker remarks at each other. I wish more anti-cigarette/anti-all-tobacco advocates were as rational and thoughtful as Bill is.


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