Weekly Pulse: Are We There Yet?

By Lindsay Beyerstein, TMC MediaWire blogger.

This week in healthcare, the Pulse adopts what doctors call a "watchful waiting stance." So much is happening, yet so little has actually happened.

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This is sick...Cancer hospital hires Tobacco Lobbyists

The following was written by Mark Ferrulo, the Executive Director for Progress Florida. This is crossposted from Progress Florida.

And not just any hospital, we’re talking H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, one of the top 20 cancer hospitals in the country.  This nationally renowned cancer treatment and research institute is paying thousands of dollars to lobbyists in Tallahassee, that are also registered lobbyists for tobacco companies.

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Dr. Allan Brandt Helps Us Put The Smoking In Politics.

Over at Smoking Politics, we tell and re-tell and constantly point out that the right wing strategy of lie big, ignore the facts and shoot the messenger wasn't created out of thin air, it was started with great success by the tobacco companies almost a century ago.

The clearest current example of the attempts to muddy the water on whether cigarettes actually cause cancer, oh wait, that was the last example, now they're muddying the waters with Global Warming.

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Nigerian Smokes and NASA Dopes

The indispensable Center for Media and Democracy featured a post on Wednesday on tobacco's marketing in the global south. It seems that at least one African nation, Nigeria, has had enough and is fighting back.

Nigeria's two largest states are following the lead of U.S. states, in suing British American Tobacco (BAT) of Nigeria, its U.K. parent company and Philip Morris International for the health care costs of treating sick smokers, The Times of London reported this week.

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Just outlaw tobacco

The Washington Post today recommends stricter regulations for the tobacoo industry. Good first step but what lawmakers really need to do is ban tobacco altogether.

If it really is the killer that health officials say, why not take it out and save millions of lives in the process?

Marijuanna is considered a Schedule I drug by the federal government. Requirements for Schedule I:


(A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
    (B) The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
    (C) There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.

Tobacco fits into these requirements. The industry is getting a free ride while the companies continue to pump up the nicotine levels.

If the lawmakers and regulators are really, I mean REALLY committed to public health, someone should actually go out on a limb and ban the product altogether.  

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