Altria has finally agreed that smoking is bad for you. Now they’re trying to convince you (and the FDA) that chewing isn’t. For those of you that don’t know, Altria is a holding company with holding such as Philip Morris and UST (US Smokeless Tobacco).
As you know, President Obama signed into law the Family Smoking Prevention And Tobacco Control Act last year. With all laws there is a feeling out process that is taking place now and Altria wants to be very much a part of it. According to a recent New York Times article:
A series of letters that Altria submitted to the F.D.A. as part of that process argues that the government should, effectively, sign off on the notion that smokeless tobacco products are less harmful than cigarettes — and that Altria and other companies should be allowed to market them as such to consumers.
This to me sounds like a very slippery slope. I’ve debated often about the dangers of smokeless vs. cigarettes so I won’t bother to go into it here. What I will say is this really pisses me off. Let’s just say for arguments sake that smokeless is indeed safer than cigarettes. OK fine. You know exactly what the packaging is going to say:
This product is a safe alternative to cigarettes.
And even if it doesn’t say that it’ll say something along those lines. You can be sure that it won’t tell you any of the DANGERS of smokeless. You can be sure that it won’t tell you how addictive smokeless is and you can be SURE that they won’t tell you how difficult it is to break that addiction.