December 1, 2011

"RJ Reynolds v. FDA and the Hidden Danger of Denying Free Speech Protection to Corporations."

Aaron Worthing has an excellent post about the litigation over the FDA rules requiring new warning labels on cigarettes.

IN THE COMMENTS: caplight said:
This is great, so now the government can require abortionists to post pictures of the developmental stages of a human being in utero and pictures of chopped up baby parts. Oh, and the link between abortion and breast cancer too.
Exactly!

48 comments:

ndspinelli said...

It's not a slippery slope, it's a slimey one.

Patrick said...

Should facts never evoke emotions or be controversial.

I would imagine the ugly labels would be ok if they were factual pictures of the result of the disease.

Spread Eagle said...

I would imagine the ugly labels would be ok if they were factual pictures of the result of the disease.

That seems to be the key here. The government just has to come up with better graphics, ones that convey information, before they can force corporations to put them on their packages.

J said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John said...

It seems to me that this is another case of govt requiring untruthful information. I think the companies would do well to resist.

"Cigarettes cause cancer" is one of the required warnings.

Bullshit.

Cigarettes cause a doubling in the risk of lung cancer. If they wanted to say that it would be true.

Ann, as a lawyer, what is the legal meaning of the word "cause"? Is there one?

As I understand the English language if I say that A causes B, that means that pretty much every time A happens B results. With a few exceptions, of course.

In the case of lung cancer, more than 90% of smokers will NOT get cancer.

How can it be truthful to say that cigarettes "cause" cancer?

Seems like govt BS to me.

And don't get me started on the warnings in my car about "air bags". There is no air in those bags. They use a high explosive. The same thing, made by the same company, as the Shuttle uses for liftoff.

Why does the govt allow this false labeleing? Why do they not call them what they are "Pyrotechnic bags"?

John Henry

John Henry

John said...

Ahhh yes, there's Debbie, right on cue with her nonsense.

As someone said a couple years ago, to call Debbie batshit crazy does a grave disservice to batshit.

John Henry

John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

Should facts never evoke emotions or be controversial.

What facts are conveyed by the pictures that could not be conveyed, more clearly and in less space, by words?

damikesc said...

Should Obama campaign posters by required to show massive IOU's on them?

How about dead border agents?

Well-armed Mexican drug cartels?

J said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
J said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Althouse said...

J, I'm going to start deleting comments of yours that are repetitive, so rein it in.

damikesc said...

It's been months.

Has J EVER written anything cogent? Worth reading? Not laden with baffling attempts at insults?

ndspinelli said...

I can hear the Hallelujah Chorus playing throughout Althouseland.

DADvocate said...

There's not a soul in the U.S. over the age of 18 months that doesn't know cigarette smoking can kill you and cause all sorts of health problems. The FDA needs to focus on other things, like shrinking their bureaucracy.

Shanna said...

Has J EVER written anything cogent?

And has that Byro thing been explained? Because all I can think of is Lord Byron, which doesn't seem to fit.

Scott M said...

Has J EVER written anything cogent?

Yes, of course. It's just that the rantings and incoherent bigotry overshadows it by so much, it's tough to get to.

timmaguire42 said...

No matter how legitimate their beginnings, advocates and advocacy campaigns eventually come down to hyperbole and emotional manipulation.

I can't think of an exception to that, where the advocates, having achieved their reasonable or laudable goals, declared victory and went home.

Can you?

sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rsb said...

They should use the pic of the 100 year old lady lighting a cigarette off her birthday cake.

Lyssa said...

You guys actually bother to read J?

Scott M said...

I can't think of an exception to that, where the advocates, having achieved their reasonable or laudable goals, declared victory and went home.

Don Hernando Cortes.

Coketown said...

I hope the government is putting an adequate level of thought into this balancing act between discouraging tobacco use on one hand and growing increasingly dependent on tobacco revenue on the other.

The federal and various state governments collected over $20 billion in tobacco excise taxes this year. This is on top of $10 billion the states received this year from the late 90's $250 billion tobacco settlement.

But these governments are also willfully burdening themselves with healthcare costs, with tobacco use putting upward pressure on these costs. Eventually the cost of not outright banning tobacco exceeds revenue generated. Any guesses on the eventual fate of tobacco in this country?

Dustin said...

It is very funny to read Obama's lament that tobacco companies are dishonest to oppose this kind of extreme labeling.

For one: the labels really do go too far, and there are already more effective labels (from a factual basis, anyway) on cigs today.

For another: Obama used to, perhaps still does smoke. And he's done a variety of narcotics. I'm sure he knew this was unhealthy, but thought he should have some freedom.

What's his problem with freedom now? If someone wants to smoke a cigarette in America, it's not like they won't know it's unhealthy. Smoking is inconvenient because it's banned in many places, and you can't avoid the warning labels. And it's talked about on TV, in schools, etc.

If someone wants to smoke, they should be allowed the freedom Obama valued when he wanted to smoke.

rsb said...

J is one of the more intelligent and funny commenters on here but I would heed Ann's advice on this one.

Fen said...

J has also been reported to FBI for threatening to trace ISPs and do violence to commenters here.

So if he actually *does* go all Jared Loughner on us, a paper trail has already been started. No excuses of "we didn't know" this time.

Patrick said...

"I hope the government is putting an adequate level of thought into this"

I couldn't finish reading that. Laughing too hard. Adequate thought? Government? Seriously.

Curious George said...

"Coketown said...
But these governments are also willfully burdening themselves with healthcare costs, with tobacco use putting upward pressure on these costs. Eventually the cost of not outright banning tobacco exceeds revenue generated. Any guesses on the eventual fate of tobacco in this country?"

Myth.

Coketown said...

Myth.

Elaborate.

Dustin said...

He means that one day, they will claim tobacco is mythical. That's its eventual fate.

!!!

caplight said...

This is great, so now the government can require abortionists to post pictures of the developmental stages of a human being inutero and pictures of chopped up baby parts. Oh, and the link between abortion and breast cancer too.

fivewheels said...

He means that everyone dies, and smokers do not cost more money when they die than anyone else. In fact, they often cost far less. Smoking-related deaths can be severe -- and quick.

Also, the government benefits from people paying into Social Security and Medicare all their lives, then kicking out of the system before they collect by dying young.

We should not be making decisions about freedom based on what's expensive, but if we did, we'd make it in the opposite direction of the propaganda.

virgil xenophon said...

fivewheels is right. In fact the SS Admin PLANS on, iirc, a some $4-700,000,000/yr annual savings of benefits not paid out resulting from premature deaths due to smoking..

Curious George said...

"Coketown said...
Elaborate"

Sure healthcare costs for smokers once they hit certain ages are higher in any year...but they also die younger eliminating expense. Care as we get older is more expensive...more shit goes wrong. Other cancers and maladies come into play.

You talked about government expense. ~75% of the cost of non-senior healtcare is not borne by the government. But nearly all of the costs of seniors is. Smokers don't reamin in this senior pool very long.





Additional government expense for social security, subsudized nursing homes etc. is eliminated.

Curious George said...

The other factor is how healthcare financing works...simplifying it hospitals look at utilization rates of facilities and staff, and reimbursement rates. Most government payers reimburse hospitals at 20-25% of a claim dollar, and private insurance is 50-75%. The only profitable areas are cardiac and oncology. Smokers use these a lot...and the majority is being paid for by private insurance. If this usage went away, the dollars used to cover lower cost operations of the hospital (everything else plus Medi's) would also go away...requiring increased reimbursement from the government and hospital closure.

Coketown said...

Sure healthcare costs for smokers once they hit certain ages are higher in any year...but they also die younger eliminating expense.

The average lifetime healthcare spending for a smoker is, according to the Hodgsons study, $17,000 more than for non-smokers, despite dying 7 years earlier. They are more expensive despite dying sooner. The federal government spends $900 billion on healthcare each year, at least 20% of recipients are smokers, and its revenue from tobacco taxes is a measly $7 billion annually. You simply can't argue that costs to the system associated with smoking are less than $7 billion a year.

n.n said...

There is another consideration:

Amendment 8 - Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Specifically the last phrase and it is not exclusively binding, which I still find to be an odd aspect of the first amendment.

Since those images are visible to the general public, especially when they are broadcast through generally accessible media, then they can be construed to be in conflict with that Constitutionally protected right.

There should be public outrage and lawsuits filed against the businesses producing these images. There is no legitimate reason that people who voluntarily abstain from consuming tobacco products should be subject to the graphic and harmful imagery those businesses produce. This class of information should be regulated in the same manner as pornography and similar material designed to exploit and abuse human emotions.

On the other hand, there is a legitimate case for society to actively prevent premeditated termination of human life before it is capable of expressing its will.

I think our society's priorities are slightly skewed. There is a progressive effort to embrace the merits of involuntary exploitation while condemning the virtue of voluntary exploitation.

Revenant said...

The average lifetime healthcare spending for a smoker is, according to the Hodgsons study, $17,000 more than for non-smokers

According to the Barendregt and Leu/Schaub studies found that average lifetime healthcare spending was lower for smokers.

$900 billion on healthcare each year, at least 20% of recipients are smokers, and its revenue from tobacco taxes is a measly $7 billion annually. You simply can't argue that costs to the system associated with smoking are less than $7 billion a year

Did you hit your head on something hard? It doesn't matter what percentage of healthcare recipients are smokers, it only matters whether smokes consume more government dollars over a lifetime than non-smokers do. If they consume as much or less than non-smokers (as the above studies found), the cost is obviously less than $7 billion/year. The "cost" is quite probably negative.

Mick said...

Denying free speech to Corporations is the Leftist way to muzzle speech they don't like, while allowing Newspapers (which are Corporations), who ARE the Left, to say anything they want.

Scalia's concurrence in Citizens v. FEC was right on: "the right to free speech SHALL NOT be abridged". That means what it says, but lawyers have played telephone with the simple words of the USC for 240 odd years in their attempt to justify their miserable treasonous existence.

DADvocate said...

You guys actually bother to read J?

Only a glance, at the most, to check for humorous malapropisms and neologisms. Guess it's my past experience in mental health coming out.

Revenant said...

Only a glance, at the most, to check for humorous malapropisms and neologisms

Which is a bit like checking a stool sample for the presence of feces.

lewsar said...

congrats on the 'althouselanche' tag on patterico. first time i've seen that.

William said...

Perhaps pictures of headless and/or disembowelled campesinos would do something to discourage drug intake....Drug abuse, as presented by Hollywood, is presented in terms of cops, robbers, and addicts. They never mention the collateral damage drugs cause. SNL should present a rollicking skit where the ghost of John Belushi appears in the background as some coke mule gets prison raped or the kid of some user gets smacked around cause daddy is short tempered after a coke binge.....Humphrey Bogart did far more to romanticize cigarette smoking than any ad writer for RJ Reynolds. The same deal nowadays goes on with drugs and drug dealers. Every so often there's a kitchen sink drama about some junkie undergoing a few withdrawal pains before he finds true love and redemption, but mostly it's about drug dealers who lead glamourous lives and die glorious deaths.....During commercials one's bullshit detectors are set on high. Not so much during movies.......How about a picture of Franklin Raines' summer home on the package of forms for a Freddie Mac mortgage, or a picture of Barney Frank's fat ass would better serve to inhibit impulse house buying.

MikeR said...

Why do links to patterico never work for me?

el polacko said...

so ann notices that 'j' is "repetitive" but let's him slide for all the vile, disgusting insults he hurls in his every comment? is our hostess okay with constant abuse so long as it's not the same abuse that she's heard before?

SGT Ted said...

I am concerned that someone thinks J is intelligent based on what he posts here.

Heart_Collector said...

J said...
Yr "Debbie," Anny-John the fallacy-meister, like you're most of the noizemaking trolls on Althouse. We link to a blog unlike you, mormon fraud. Anyway the Server Admin already has you traced, Byro the Subluxanator--to your Sac hole in the wall. Now, maybe you can try to sell some...bogus chiropractor supplies here--since yr failing everywhere else. (and in violation of Dept of CA Consumer affairs. Not that the klan-trash of AA care)



I got whats left of my money on J being that kid doing the Dragon speak software info-mercials.

Fred Drinkwater said...

@fivewheels: "Smoking-related deaths can be severe"
Hmm... definitely food for thought.

@William: In MSM & NPR reporting on the horrible situation in Mexican border cities, the most remarkable thing is the total absence of mention of the customers of those criminal businesses. One would think that those damn Mex guys are genetically compelled to a life of crime for its own sake.
Blame US consumers? Oh, no, we can't do that!