Alan Blum, MD, Professor, Gerald Leon Wallace Endowed Chair in Family Medicine and Director of The University of Alabama Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society recently teamed up with Matt Bors to develop a series of satirical cartoons that poke fun at the tobacco industry and the Food & Drug Administration for their hypocrisy concerning tobacco products. The first of these cartoons, originally published in The Birmingham News in June 2007, is published below with permission from Dr. Alan Blum. It is followed by an explanation of the events and actions addressed in the cartoon.
Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif) have introduced a bill (S.625 in the Senate and H.R. 1108 in the House of Representatives) that would provide the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with regulatory control over tobacco products but would not permit the FDA to ban the sale or promotion of cigarettes. The bill is likley to come up for a vote in July by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Dr. Alan Blum, Director the The University of Alabama Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society and a staunch critic of placing America’s most lethal consumer product under the control of the same agency entrusted to ensure the safety of our medications and food, was invited to testify in opposition to the bill at the Committee’s hearing earlier this year. Dr. Blum collaborated with cartoonist Matt Bors of Portland, Oregon, to shed light on the glaring inconsistencies of the bill and the strange bedfellows who are supporting it.