NEJM Editorial Dodges TPSAC’s Statutory Mandate to Study Health Effects of Contraband

Jun 10, 2011

Editor’s Note: In the attached Perspective column, the Chairman of the TPSAC and another TPSAC member state that the committee “was not charged with addressing regulatory options and did not have the time or expertise to analyze regulatory scenarios, including any involving inadvertently opening a door for the introduction of contraband menthol cigarettes into the U.S. market.”¬† This misleading statement¬†fails to explain that the TPSAC was unambiguously charged with evaluating the health effects of contraband cigarettes, a topic which is widely discussed in the Public Health literature and which the TPSAC completely ignored.¬† Claiming the committee lacked “the time or expertise to analyze regulatory scenarios” does not explain why they did not analyze the health effects of contraband on adult smokers, underage smokers and non-smokers — as required by law.

For detailed data on the health effects of contraband tobacco, please see An Inquiry into the Nature, Causes and Impacts of Contraband Cigarettes.

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