From the Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass (Dr Blendon and Mr Young); and the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass (Dr Blendon).
ON JUNE 17, 1998, the US Senate voted to end consideration of comprehensive
antitobacco legislation.1 The $516 billion
bill was built on a blueprint developed nearly 1 year earlier in a settlement
between the tobacco industry and 40 state attorneys general.
The Senate bill would have increased cigarette taxes by $1.10 per pack
over several years, penalized the tobacco industry if youth smoking rates
did not drop significantly, and given the Food and Drug Administration complete
authority to regulate nicotine as a drug. The bill would also have included
new regulations on the sale, manufacturing, labeling, and marketing of tobacco
products, particularly to children. In addition, the legislation would have
devoted a large share of the monies raised to health-related activities, including
medical research, antismoking campaigns, and prevention research.1
Blendon RJ, Young JT. The Public and the Comprehensive Tobacco Bill. JAMA. 1998;280(14):1279-1284. doi:10.1001/jama.280.14.1279