Annals of Health Law
STRATEGY AGAINST SMOKING
United States are of low socioeconomic status, 46 increasing prices to a
certain level signifies a de facto ban for the majority of smokers. Such a
coercive paternalistic approach raises concerns about fairness and the
significance of individual autonomy, which are amplified by nicotine’s
addictive character. 47 It also entails risks of smuggling or other illegal forms
of access as experienced during the Prohibition Era. 48 The extent that
positive health benefits and the fact that tobacco taxes do not remotely
cover the expenditures caused by smoking49 may justify ruling out these
concerns shall not be decided here.
Information campaigns about health risks are another important tobacco
control strategy. Since the landmark Surgeon’s General Report from 1964, 50
numerous reports have raised the public’s level of awareness with regard to
the risks of tobacco use, including the addictive character of nicotine. 51
One considerable aspect of informational initiatives is the compulsory,
sometimes quite drastic, health warnings on cigarette packs that have
proven to affect consumers, albeit only for the first confrontations. 52
However, one might argue that tobacco related health risks today are
common knowledge, at least to the adult population, leaving little need for
further efforts in this area. 53
Attempts to control tobacco advertisement by bans and restrictions have
rarely been successful. 54 Instead, they provoke counter-advertising and
other striking ways to circumvent regulative efforts. For instance, the ban
on broadcast media advertising led the tobacco industry to focus very
46. See supra Introduction.
47. Cf. Neal L. Benowitz & Jack E. Henningfield, Establishing a Nicotine Threshold for
Addiction: The Implications for Tobacco Regulation, 331 NEW ENG. J. MED. 123 passim
(1994); Neal L. Benowitz, Nicotine addiction, 362 NEW ENGLAND J. MED. 2295 passim
48. Rabin, supra note 37, at 1753.
49. See Chaloupka & Warner supra note 40, at 1565-84; supra Part I. A.
50. PUBLICHEALTHSERVICE, U.S.DEP’T OFHEALTH,EDUC.&WELFARE,PUBLIC
HEALTH SERV. PUB. NO. 1103, SMOKING AND HEALTH: REPORT OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
TO THE SURGEON GENERAL OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE (1964).
51. COMMITTEE ON REDUCING TOBACCO USE: STRATEGIES, BARRIERS, AND
CONSEQUENCES supra note 40, at 91; Rabin supra note 37, at 1750-52.
52. See, e.g., Ron Borland et al., How Reactions to Cigarette Packet Health Warnings
Influence Quitting: Findings from the ITC Four-Country Survey, in 104 ADDICTION 669
passim (2009); Ron Borland et al., Impact of Graphic and Text Warnings on Cigarette
Packs: Findings from Four Countries over Five Years, in 18 TOBACCO CONTROL 358 passim
(2009); David Hammond et al., Effectiveness of Cigarette Warning Labels in Informing
Smokers About the Risks of Smoking: Findings from the International Tobacco Control
(ITC) Four Country Survey, in 15 TOBACCO CONTROL iii19 passim (Supp. III 2006).
53. See Rabin supra note 37, at 1726.
54. COMMITTEE ON REDUCING TOBACCO USE: STRATEGIES, BARRIERS, AND
CONSEQUENCES supra note 40, at 112-14.