Despite a two-year decline in the amount of money tobacco makers spend on marketing and advertising, the American Medical Association says too much is still spent on promoting cigarettes and other forms of smoking.
Spending on marketing and advertising among the five largest US tobacco firms fell to $13.1 billion in 2005 from $14.15 billion in 2004 and $15.15 billion in 2003, the US Federal Trade Commission said in a report issued Thursday.
But anti-smoking advocates said promotional spending was still double the amount spent in 1998, the year the tobacco firms entered into a landmark multi-state settlement, the Associated Press reported.
The AMA added its voice to those who called the amount spent by cigarette makers to promote smoking excessive.
"In 2004 and 2005 alone, the tobacco industry spent an exorbitant $27.7 billion to market their deadly products to the American people," the association said in a statement. "That same money could pay for virtually every smoker in America to receive a full course of nicotine treatment to help them quit."
Noting that the effects of smoking kill some 1 200 Americans daily, the group called for giving the US Food and Drug Administration the authority to "regulate the manufacture, sale, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products."
The US Congress is considering legislation giving the FDA such authority, the AP reported. The bill may have a better chance of passing than similar legislation proposed in 2004, the wire service said, since Democrats now control both chambers of Congress. – (HealthDayNews)
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