While plain packaging represents a power tool for tobacco control, it also builds upon other measures that governments have at their disposal to curb tobacco use. It is recommended that plain packaging be used as part of a comprehensive multisectoral approach to tobacco control.
At first glance, this is compelling evidence that e-cigarettes should have an immediate place in addiction medicine. However, no studies to date have reported on the long-term impact -- good or bad -- of sustained e-cigarette use.
As the nation's largest public pension fund, CalPERS has a particular responsibility to continually strive to invest in ways that not only unequivocally meet its fiduciary obligations, but also strengthen our economy and society.
Federal officials are expected to come out with a decision any day now that could give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to develop regulations. But figuring out how to regulate e-cigarettes to maximize their benefits and minimize their risks is harder than it looks.
Clearly, there is a deep conflict of interest between the Chamber's aggressiveness on tobacco and the interests of its health-related members. So why is the Chamber so brazenly pursuing the interests of Big Tobacco?
Regulation is needed urgently to prevent a repeat performance by Big Tobacco. Our youth in particular need to be protected, given the disturbing trend of increased teen use of e-cigarettes and the accompanying potential rise in nicotine addiction.
E-cigarette companies have been threats to big tobacco for a while and their market share looks likely to grow steadily. Indeed, a number of big tobacco companies are making sizable investments in them.
Many change makers, who don't necessarily want to risk being the first, are ready, once they see success, to follow in its footsteps. That's how norms change works -- each effort leads to greater success in the next round.
It's long been said that trends start in California. With one eye on the balance sheet and one on the legal history books, five of the world's largest drug manufacturers are probably hoping that's not true.