The FDA has moved to require tobacco marketers to place grotesque photos of cadavers and body parts on cigarette packs, and Barton Hinkle of the Richmond Times-Dispatch thinks there’s no reason for it to end there. More: Ann Althouse.
A jury rejects a strained health-outlay recoupment claim. [Mass Tort Lit]
After much uncritical reportage of claims that heart attacks in this or that community fell immediately and precipitously after a smoking ban went into effect, a larger and more careful study finds no evidence for any such miraculous effect [Jacob Sullum, Reason] Earlier here, etc.
Product liability edition:
- You mean cigarettes were dangerous? “Florida jury awards $80M to daughter in anti-smoking case” [AP]
- “Acne drug not found to increase suicide risk” [BBC, earlier on Accutane here, here, etc.]
- “Man hit by jar of exploding fruit says $150,000 award isn’t enough” [Detroit News via Obscure Store]
- Chicago accident coverage exemplifies Toyota acceleration hysteria [Fumento/CEI] NHTSA-NRC panel findings on subject [PoL]
- Strict product liability is in decline, according to Prof. David Owen [Abnormal Use]
- More questions raised on $500 million Nevada hepatitis verdict [PoL]
- Notwithstanding chatter in press about toxic cosmetics, study finds cosmetologists have below-average cancer rates [David Oliver]
- Florida juries repeatedly hold Ford liable for millions when drivers fall asleep [five years ago on Overlawyered]
Accurate science, or Science For Your Own Good? [Michael Siegel]
“There has been a growing effort over the past decade from groups such as Smoke Free Movies and SceneSmoking.org, which hosts the annual Hackademy Awards, to pressure Hollywood into cutting back the amount of smoking in films. Now those groups are getting government support for their cause from US Reps. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) and Joseph Pitts (R-PA) and from a group of health organizations, including Legacy, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization.” [Washington Post] Legacy, incidentally, is a group created as a result of the $246-billion state-Medicaid tobacco settlement whose purposes include pushing for further “tobacco control” — one of many examples in this area in which government-driven funding is employed to further advocacy on one side of controversial issues.
The state’s high court “voted to uphold lower-court decisions barring cigarette use in performances. … a coalition of state and national theater groups [had] argued in multiple courts that the ban infringed on free-speech rights and interfered with their abilities to accurately produce plays.” [Denver Post, OnPoint News (outspoken dissent by Justice Gregory Hobbs), Michelle Minton/CEI "Open Market", Declarations and Exclusions]
“A Dallas woman has filed a lawsuit seeking six figures from a former neighbor and landlord for damage she says was caused by cigarette smoke wafting through adjoining walls of her high-end townhome. ‘Smoking is not a right, it’s a privilege,’ said Chris Daniel, a retired nurse.” [Dallas Morning News]
Even the NYT detects libertarian objections among Gothamites to the city’s latest paternalistic scheme. More: Jacob Sullum; William Saletan (ban based on “cultural contamination” rather than actual physical risk) and followup (science of outdoor secondhand smoke).
The Barclay Rex smoking shop must seek a permit as a “food establishment” even if it gives away the brew for free, the city says [Sullum, Reason "Hit and Run"] Readers wonder (h/t Jeff Stier) whether the city is also going to start picking on car dealerships, bookshops and even police stations that offer free coffee, a question to which I think we know the answer.
The Pentagon is putting out word, though, that soldiers would not be expected to go cold turkey in actual war zones. [Gregg Zoroya, "Ban on tobacco urged in military", USA Today, Jul. 9; "U.S. will not ban war zone smoking", AP/USA Today, Jul. 15]
Steve Chapman on the new tobacco regulation bill: “When it gets in a mood to regulate, Congress doesn’t like to trouble itself with nuisances like the First Amendment.”
Funny how Philip Morris, the biggest tobacco company, is the bill’s “most important ally“. [CEI "Open Market"] More: Jacob Sullum, Reason “Hit and Run”, Jonathan Adler, Volokh (“the bill represents the marriage of big government and big business”).