March 1, 2012 |
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon has blocked the federal government's plan to require cigarette manufacturers to cover half of each package sold with a graphic health warning. In his ruling, issued late Wednesday, Leon said the government mandate amounted to an "impermissible expropriation of a company's advertising space for government advocacy. " That decision confirms a temporary stay issued by Leon in November - a move that signaled his view that a suit brought last August by several tobacco manufacturers against the Department of Health and Human Services would likely prevail.
November 7, 2011 |
A federal judge has put a temporary block on new graphic warning labels for cigarette packages as a case concerning the constitutionality of requiring the labels proceeds. The new labels, which would cover the top half of a cigarette box and include the number to a smoking-cessation hotline, marked the first dramatic anti-smoking move made since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was given new powers to regulate tobacco products, as health writer Melissa Healy has explained . Among other graphic images, the labels show a man blowing smoke out of a tracheotomy hole in his neck, a pair of diseased lungs and a dead man with autopsy staples in his chest.
June 29, 2011
Even Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court justice who wrote the majority opinion saying that makers of generic drugs don't have to warn patients about newly discovered dangers, agreed that the idea made little sense. How is it that the maker of a brand-name pharmaceutical has to provide information about potential side effects but the companies that produce identical drugs don't? If this is the price the public is expected to pay for cheaper drugs, it's far too high. In a 5-4 decision issued last week, the court rejected lawsuits by two women who suffered serious side effects from generic versions of a medication used for stomach ailments.
June 28, 2011
Hats off to N.Y. Re "N.Y. legalizes gay marriage," June 25 It's bittersweet, but mainly sweet, seeing the great state of New York post a milestone in human rights. It's bitter in that my state, California, should have and could have been the first among the big states to do it instead of succumbing to the idiotic bigotry of Propositions 22 and 8. Poor California, which used to be the vanguard in so many ways, has been reduced to the vanguard of budget crises and little else.
June 27, 2011
You've been warned Re "Tobacco warnings take graphic turn," June 21 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is mandating graphic pictures on each pack of cigarettes showing the realities of smoking. Can we soon expect pictures of obese people placed on the front door of every fast-food restaurant? Or pictures of people dying of skin cancer at the entrance to the beach? We should mandate that the FDA change its name to the FNA (Frivolous Nanny Administration). David Green Long Beach Of course these new images will help smokers stop, even if the predicted expectation is for a paltry 300,000 quitters out of the more than 40 million smokers.
June 26, 2011 |
For American smokers, her portrait is a glimpse of a future frightening to ponder and, for U.S. health officials, perhaps too powerful to foist on the public: an unsparing photograph of a person scarcely recognizable as a woman, her body wasted by cancer, her hair gone, her blue eyes fixed in a thousand-mile stare. She was Barb Tarbox, and she died on May 18, 2003, of lung cancer at the age of 42. From October 2002, two months after she was diagnosed, to the moment of her death, the Edmonton, Canada, homemaker set about making her ordeal a lesson to others about the dangers of smoking.