Big Nicotine, Part II: Addiction and the “Cult of Pharmacology”

Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced its intention to lower the nicotine content of cigarettes to, ideally, “minimally or nonaddictive” levels. Public health advocates celebrated the decision; on the other hand, Big Tobacco investors began dumping shares at the prospect of supplying an ever-more-elastic demand. Cigarette critics and capitalists alike belong toContinue reading “Big Nicotine, Part II: Addiction and the “Cult of Pharmacology””

Big Nicotine, Part I: Big Tobacco’s Drug Problem

Just over a week ago, the United States Food and Drug Administration announced what new FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottileb called “a cornerstone of our new and more comprehensive approach to effective tobacco regulation”: an initiative to reduce the nicotine content in cigarettes to “minimally or nonaddictive” levels. The 2009 Tobacco Control Act gave FDAContinue reading “Big Nicotine, Part I: Big Tobacco’s Drug Problem”

The Strange and Complicated History of Patenting the E-Cigarette

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by Camille Higham, a patent attorney in Jacksonville, Florida, with extensive experience researching e-cigarettes.  About a year ago, I wrote about e-cigarettes in a blog that is woefully neglected now. At that time, I thought e-cigarettes may fall between a novelty and a passing fad. Now I amContinue reading “The Strange and Complicated History of Patenting the E-Cigarette”

World War I, Part 5: Tobacco in the Trenches

Unlike my previous posts, today’s entry focuses on the war as a whole rather than on a specific army. Tobacco was ubiquitous at the front and ever-present in prewar society. The war ushered in several changes to European smoking culture: Pipes began to fall out of fashion as cigarettes became more popular, and women smoked moreContinue reading “World War I, Part 5: Tobacco in the Trenches”

Aesthetics and the Failure of the FDA’s Cigarette Warning Labels

Last year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a series of nine new warning labels for cigarettes. The labels were designed around a series of graphic images intended to highlight the dangers of smoking – a man exhaling smoke through a hole in his throat, a pair of diseased lungs next to a pairContinue reading “Aesthetics and the Failure of the FDA’s Cigarette Warning Labels”

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