Thursday, August 23, 2012

An Article About Smoking

It's Thursday, and even though I'm no longer at the AANP conference in Seattle, I'm still on vacation. I hope you're all getting some time to enjoy the summer weather with your friends and family.

That said, I'm sending a quick missive to you readers that I feel is of great importance. Last week, Australia took a great step forward in the battle against lung cancer, emphysema, stroke, hypertension and heart disease, when the nation's highest court upheld the constitutionality of a law that would cripple the tobacco industry. The law will force tobacco companies to completely de-brand cigarette packaging, requiring that cigarettes be sold in generic, olive-green packages listing only the brand and product name, accompanied by graphic pictures of the disease associated with smoking. I haven't seen this receive much press here in the US, so I thought I'd share it with you all.

Given that our country that considers itself a world leader, I think it's shameful that many other countries have taken the lead in targeting big tobacco companies. Australia, and even our (sometimes mocked) neighbors Canada have taken much stronger stances against these disease-mongers, and it's time we followed suit. Having shown our ability to lead the world in the political and financial arenas, it's time we similarly got moving in the health arena - we've made some steps forward recently, but in most, we're still playing catch up.