Experts Call for Greater Control Over Tobacco Industry

By Staff Writer

Tobacco dependency is one of the most prevalent forms of addictions. Millions of people across the U.S. are unable to kick their habit, resulting in many smoking-related deaths and increased need for individuals to seek therapy from treatment facilities.

However, a recent report from UK researchers suggests that allowing an independent regulatory agency to limit the profits of cigarette companies and producers of other tobacco products may help curb the problem, while increasing tax revenues.

Robert Branston, the University of Bath researcher who wrote the report, said that the profits of most tobacco companies are twice as high as those of the majority of other businesses, and that the market had failed to correct this excess of revenues due in part to the addictiveness of the industry’s product.

“Clamping down on the extreme profitability of cigarettes would reduce the incentive for tobacco companies to fight public health measures and mean they have fewer funds at their disposal,” he said. “A move to regulation would enable tobacco control policies to be expanded as companies would be partially insulated against impact on revenue and less able to argue against them.”