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.
June 22, 2011 |
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday unveiled a group of graphic images and messages that will cover the top half of every cigarette package in the United States starting in fall 2012. FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this post said graphic images meant to warn of tobacco's health hazards would appear on cigarette packs beginning this fall. They will appear on packs beginning in fall 2012. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said her agency estimated that the new campaign could induce as many as 213,000 established smokers in the United States to quit in its first year.
June 21, 2011 |
Cigarette labels are going for the throat. If you’ve ever peeked at the gross-out pictures in a medical book, you’re really going to want to check out the new warning labels that will soon appear on all cigarette packages sold in the U.S. The tobacco labels — unveiled Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration — definitely ratchet up the shock value. Instead of a few stern words from the surgeon general, new packages will feature graphic pictures — a guy blowing smoke through a tracheotomy hole in his neck, a corpse with an evidently unsuccessful surgical scar running down his chest, a cancerous lip, a set of diseased lungs.
November 26, 2010
The danger dots Re "Patt Morrison Asks: Brian Jenkins," Opinion, Nov. 20 Brian Jenkins agrees with Condoleezza Rice that "security has to be right 100% of the time but terrorists only once. " Actually, as Jenkins points out, it seems that terrorists don't have to be "right" (successful attacks) at all anymore. Just by attempting attacks, they send us into a fear-driven frenzy of responses that disrupt our society and economy without making us significantly more secure.
November 16, 2010
Speaking of Pelosi Re "Speaker or not, she's a keeper," Editorial, Nov. 11 Thank you for your timely defense of Nancy Pelosi's performance as speaker of the House. As you aptly mentioned, her job is to pass legislation, not to win popularity awards. Part of the reason Democrats often fail, even with sizable majorities, is they forget this fact. Whether or not you agree with healthcare reform or tighter controls on Wall Street, passing these historic bills despite a solidly entrenched GOP was a huge accomplishment.
November 11, 2010 |
Cigarette labels are about to get more graphic and, for now at least, those warning labels on cigarette packages are proving quite the talker. Americans seem fascinated by the proposed package images of corpses and cancer patients, and compelled to comment . But the FDA's labels aren't nearly as gory as what appears on these cigarette warning labels from other countries. Hundreds of folks have weighed in on a Huffington Post story , some favoring education over scare tactics while others laud the use of visual cues to deter smokers.
November 11, 2010 |
In the first major change to cigarette packaging in a quarter-century, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday it would require graphic warning labels that cover half a package's front and rear and the top 20% of all cigarette ads. The labels will feature either drawings or photos illustrating graphically the dangers associated with smoking and will be accompanied by text stating that smoking is addictive or that it kills. The pictures feature such things as a diseased lung, a corpse and a man smoking a cigarette through a tracheotomy tube.