Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan — helping big tobacco hook young smokers

imagesSen. Burr and Sen. Hagan may not agree on much, but both fought the regulation of tobacco by the Food and Drug Administration. The bill outlawed the use of various flavorings in cigarettes that tend to attract young smokers.

There was a giant exemption in the bill for menthol, a popular flavoring. But our senators saw that if the FDA was given the authority to regulate tobacco, menthol’s days were limited. The two big producers of menthol cigs, Lorillard and Reynolds American, are based in Greensboro and Winston-Salem respectively.

I wonder if Hagan and Burr have any connections to Greensboro or Winston-Salem?

Now comes news that the rate of young smokers using menthol cigarettes increased from 2004 to 2008. In 2004 about 44 percent of smokers 12 to 17 years of age used menthol cigarettes. In 2008 that rate increased to 48 percent. For 18 to 25 year olds, the rate of smokers using menthol cigarettes jumped from 34 percent in 2004 to 41 percent in 2008.

This report is more evidence that young smokers are attracted to menthol. As other flavorings are banned from distribution menthol will likely be even more attractive.

Our senators understandably want to protect North Carolina business. But standing by while more children fall victim to Big Tobacco’s slick ads and sweet additives is unacceptable.

6 Comments

  1. James

    December 7, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Corporatist whores, both of them.

  2. Gary

    December 7, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    So Kay Hagan wants the Obama socialized health care system to pay for all the future lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, and other maladies that she is creating by recruiting new young addicts? Don’t you see something wrong with this???

  3. KMB

    December 7, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    No flavorings should be banned in the first place. Am I the only one who thinks that regulating any of the non-cancinogenic ingredients in cigarettes sounds ridiculous? Put the legal limitations on access to the substance, not on flavorings of it. Should we ban sweet alcoholic drinks and make the pornographic industry force their “models” to wear ugly clothing, too? Maybe that will keep the kids from becoming addicted to vices.

  4. [...] Sen. Burr and Sen. Hagan may not agree on much, but both fought the regulation of tobacco by the Food and Drug Administration. The bill outlawed the use of various flavorings in cigarettes that tend to attract young smokers. There was a giant exemption …Read Original Story: Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan — helping big tobacco hook young smokers &#8… [...]

  5. rutherfordcountybluedog

    December 15, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    “Its unacceptable!” Ewwwww! The ideological nutcases have spoken! What are you going to do now? Primary Hagan in the next election? Maybe get one of your Asheville or Chapel Hill snobs to run against her that will talk down to people that create jobs in this state? I hope not, I like having a DEMOCRATIC senator in this state that is for adding sexual orientation to the hate crimes statue, supports healthcare reform, and will not vote for free trade agreements that harm my community. I am not a smoker, nor do I oppose greater regulation, but that does not change the fact that tobacco is a major part of the economy in this state. To oppose the tobacco industry, would be like opposing d (its our state flower for any carpetbaggers on the blog) behaves like a rational person 99% of the time! I guess I should be purged from the party for being pro life and like senator Hagan support gun owners.

  6. AdamL

    December 16, 2009 at 9:37 am

    That’s quite a tirade! No, I don’t want Hagan to have a primary challenger. No, I don’t think you should be purged from the Democratic party. Yes, I think Hagan is doing a great job and behaves like a rational person 99% of the time. We’ve praised her repeatedly. I’ve made videos praising her votes.

    Does that mean I can’t point out when she’s wrong? I guess we disagree on that point.