Policy-ish

Morning Rounds: Blogs and Tobacco.

Hey!
We knew we could count on you. Many thanks to all who've offered new names for this blog. "Daily Apple," "Take Two," and "The Pulse," are new contenders. (Bonus points to David Hollis for pulling out the high school Latin with "nPRN"—and almost a palindrome, too. Yowza.) Please keep those suggestions coming! Some names will turn out to be taken already, so we need a jolly bowlful of choices.

Speaking of names and choices:

Thanks to President Obama's signature on the tobacco bill yesterday, cigarette labels with descriptors like "light," "low-tar," and "mild" will indeed disappear. (No prohibition of "smooth" or "easy" though. Expect a run on synonyms in tobacco country.) The Chicago Tribune has a good run-down today on what changes to expect —and not— with the new law.

Many longtime tobacco battlers were on-hand for the signing ceremony, of course, but the weirdest celebratory note we got was a press release from Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris (which, I guess makes it a grandparent of Marlboro, Benson & Hedges and Virginia Slims—among the biggest of Big Tobacco).

Altria called the new law which may or may not solidify its market share, by the way) a "historic achievement." The note quotes Altria CEO Michael E. Szymanczyk:

We have consistently advocated for federal regulation that recognizes the serious harm caused by tobacco products, that helps ensure tobacco companies do not market tobacco products to children and that also acknowledges that tobacco products are and should remain legal products for adults.

Consistently. Right.

Never mind the fat lady singing—this one won't be over 'til teens stop lighting up that first smoke and the skinny guy in the White House—and millions like him who wish they could quit—are able to stubb out their last butt.

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