The Government Regulation of Tobacco Products Case Study Analysis

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  • Topic: Regulation, Tobacco, Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act
  • Pages : 3 (866 words )
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  • Published : November 13, 2011
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Tobacco in government is nothing new. More than 40 years have passed since the U.S. Surgeon General issued a report declaring cigarettes as a health hazard, yet more than 20% of American’s still smoke (Lawrence 191, “Overview”). In the 1990’s the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) attempted and failed to gain authority over the regulation of tobacco and cigarette company executives testified that nicotine is not addictive (Villanti). Nearly fifteen years later, in 2009, President Obama approved the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act which gave the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products and their marketing (Adams). This has been a long standing public policy issue that has been ripe with contest from leaders in the industry who have continued to fight regulation even after they have been made law (Villanti).

The regulation of tobacco products is a type of social regulation with the goal of protecting consumers health and safety (Lawrence 184). By regulating the production and marketing of tobacco products, the government is addressing the negative externalities of health problems and costs that can arise for customers (Adams, Lawrence 180). There is also an ethical rationale attached to this regulation, specifically in the case of preventing advertisements of tobacco products to the vulnerable youth population (Lawrence 180, Masoudi).

Reynolds America, a parent company of the largest tobacco manufacture in the U.S., is stiffly opposed to these regulations and has argued that the FDA would not be able to enforce these laws. The company has taken an arm’s length orientation towards the governments effort to regulate tobacco and has publicly attacked the legislation through TV advertisements and claims that these laws would create a monopoly because smaller companies wouldn’t be able to increase their market share with these new regulations (Lawrence 174, Adams).

On the other hand, Altria, a parent company of Phillip Morris, was...
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