A case for tobacco content regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

J.A. du Toit


Although many people welcome the recent move by the United States to give its Food and Drug Admin­istration (FDA) the authority to regulate the content of tobacco, some worry that such regulation constitutes unwarranted interference with the freedom of compe­tent adult tobacco consumers. The concern for protect­ing the autonomy of individuals is valuable indeed, but given the highly addictive nature of tobacco products (and especially the nicotine in tobacco products), the continued use of tobacco by smokers cannot -without straining credulity-be said to be autonomous. This fact, combined with a proper construal of the FDA's role and an appreciation of the substantial morbidity and mortality associated with tobacco use, makes a strong case for content regulation.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3747/co.v17i4.552

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)