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A Question of Intent: A Great American Battle with a Deadly Industry

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7294.1129 (Published 05 May 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1129
  1. Clifford Douglas, president
  1. Tobacco Control Law and Policy Consulting, Ann Arbor, Michigan

    David Kessler

    Public Affairs Press, £19.99, 492 pages

    ISBN 1 891620 80 0

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    David Kessler, United States Food and Drug Administration commissioner from 1990 to 1997, clearly changed the world in which the tobacco industry does business. In this timely memoir, he describes how the FDA's historic decision to move against tobacco hinged on proving that tobacco companies designed their products with the intent to get consumers addicted.


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    The need to demonstrate such intent, an artefact of American regulatory law, explains why the administration sought to regulate tobacco products as “nicotine delivery devices.” Ultimately the Supreme Court ruled narrowly that the FDA lacked …

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