U.S. Senator Tom Coburn suggests banning tobacco outright..

June 5, 2009 - Coburn, a physician has suggested banning tobacco outright rather than the Senate passing next week a bill called the Family Smoking Prevention Tobacco Control Act - that authorizes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to restrict the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco products. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK)..

Senator Coburn during floor debate: “If we really want to make a difference in health and we want to eliminate dependence on tobacco, what we have to do is to stop the addiction.”

Coburn made his case against the bill because he said it would send a mixed message to the FDA, which is charged with ensuring the safety of food and drugs. Coburn’s argument is that there’s nothing safe about tobacco and that it would make more sense for the Drug Enforcement Administration or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to regulate it.

Coburn suggests that putting cigarettes and chew under the authority of an agency (FDA) that to this point has been tasked with ensuring product safety would only make it tougher to ban tobacco someday.

Coburn added: “In this bill, we allow existing tobacco products not ever to be eliminated.” There’s no evidence that lawmakers will take on assorted vested interests to outlaw tobacco entirely.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) displayed a blown-up picture of Gruen Von Behrens, a teenager who became addicted to snuff and later underwent multiple surgeries to remove his jawbone and half his tongue after being diagnosed with cancer.

Reference: Republican senator seeks to outlaw tobacco
by Alexander Bolton, The Hill, 6/5/2009.

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