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April 24, 1996

Tobacco Industry Strategies to Oppose Federal Regulation

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY (Dr Arno and Ms Morgan); Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass (Dr Brandt); and Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC (Mr Gostin).

JAMA. 1996;275(16):1258-1262. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530400046037

RECENT efforts by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to restrict youth access to tobacco and reduce tobacco advertising have met with predictable resistance from the tobacco industry. In opposing the FDA proposals, the tobacco industry draws on almost a century of largely successful experience attempting to limit or thwart regulation. Historically, the industry has brought extensive resources to bear on its efforts to dispute the health risks of tobacco, resist attempts to classify tobacco as a pharmaceutical product, and challenge the authority of federal agencies asserting regulatory jurisdiction. Today, similar strategies are in use as the tobacco industry confronts what may be its greatest challenge in 30 years.

The objective of this article is to examine the antiregulatory strategies used by the tobacco industry in the face of new federal initiatives. The framework in which the social regulation of tobacco occurs is presented first. Then, the industry's response to