Despite decades of warnings on the risks and dangers of tobacco, adults continue to light up and children persist in joining the ranks of smokers, not realizing or not caring about the addictive nature of cigarettes.
In Michigan alone, tobacco use still kills over 13,000 Michiganders a year, including about 1,700 from secondhand smoke exposure, and leaves many times that number burdened with preventable diseases. And if these numbers aren’t staggering enough, it’s interesting to also note that tobacco use costs each Michigan family over $600 in taxes for publicly funded healthcare costs annually.
The Obama Administration wants to change all that. Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, released two draft guidance documents to help fight the tobacco epidemic and stop children from using tobacco.
The first document provides guidance on how companies will comply with the requirement to report on the quantities of potentially harmful chemicals in tobacco products. There are more than 7,000 chemicals found in tobacco and tobacco smoke, and the FDA established a list of 93 harmful chemicals or chemical compounds that tobacco companies will be required to report for every regulated tobacco product sold in the United States.
The second document provides guidance to companies that seek to advertise or market a tobacco product as less harmful or associated with reducing the risk of tobacco-related disease.
According to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, “Today’s actions represent critical steps forward on providing Americans with the facts about the dangers of tobacco use and to stop children from smoking. We will continue to do everything we can to help smokers quit and prevent kids from starting this deadly addiction.”
Some of the deadly chemicals that can be found in cigarettes include nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, arsenic, ammonia, cyanide, formaldehyde, DDT, and sulfuric acid – to name a few.
FDA press release
Health effects of cigarette smoking
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