ACP-ASIM Supports Massachusetts Legal Efforts to Disclose Cigarette Contents
February 8, 2001
(Washington, DC): Due to a lower court ruling striking down a Massachusetts law requiring tobacco manufacturers to disclose cigarette ingredients, the American College of Physicians–American Society of Internal Medicine is signing onto an amicus brief filed today supporting disclosure in the interest of public health.
The state's law would require the tobacco industry to disclose what is in its products, to provide the state with certain tests concerning these ingredients and permit the state to disclose the information to the public. Currently tobacco companies provide a confidential aggregate of nearly 600 ingredients to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
"Consumers receive a list of ingredients on most of the products they ingest and these ingredients are subject to scrutiny by public health officials, scientists and consumers themselves," said Dr. Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, president of ACP-ASIM. "Tobacco manufacturers have escaped oversight for years by claiming special protections are needed – that begs the question why?"
The brief, written by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, points out that without specific information on contents, scientists have no way to identify potentially hazardous combinations being inhaled by consumers. "Some of the chemical additives in a cigarette may have been identified as safe in foods, but we have no way of testing the safety of that ingredient once it is set on fire, combined with other chemicals, and inhaled," Dr. Fryhofer said.
ACP-ASIM has long supported the need for federal legislation to mandate disclosure of tobacco products ingredients and the known health risks of those ingredients.
ACP-ASIM is the nation's largest medical specialty organization and the second largest physician group. Membership comprises more than 115,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students.
Copies of the brief may be obtained from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (202) 296-5469.
David Edelson, ACP-ASIM Washington Office, 202-261-4575
Page updated: 11-04-03