Thread: Obama Signed it
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Old August 26th, 2009, 01:49 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Hookah Legend
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,746
Default Re: Obama Signed it

Plenty of people had some very sound comments on this thread which is great. However, I notice that a lot naivety is popping up as well that Iíll address briefly. In quasi-technical terms the legislation passed grants implementation authority to the FDA which means that legally the legislation has now become administrative law. Translated into layman speak the FDA will interpret the law and implement it anyway they see fit with no oversight. Until they are successfully sued in federal court the FDA has a free hand to do what ever it wants with any tobacco additives including banning them unless the legislation itself expressly exempts an ingredient. The legislation covers all forms of tobacco and from now on all tobacco products made, distributed, imported and sold to the U.S. will be regulated by the FDA.

To say that the FDA makes doing business difficult is a bit like saying rape can be unpleasant. FDA regulations are often byzantine, mutually contradictory and complying with what ever edicts they issue is an endless sinkhole for money and time. Truth be known that a major reason why the U.S. spends so much on medical services and goods is because getting even basic surgical instruments approved by the FDA is shockingly hard and expensive. Getting a drug to market can take over a decade and cost hundreds of millions of bucks. If want to know why the U.S. is behind in a great many medical sciences and why it cost so much get care look into how the FDA works.

If you think dealing with the Motor Vehicles Department is a hassle try imagining dealing a bureaucracy that is literally a hundred times more contemptuous of mere citizens, far more poorly managed then the pentagon and every bit as expensive but much slower and you know what the FDA is like. What all this means is that a small or medium sized firm mostly like wonít bother trying to import stuff to the U.S. so expect to see a big decline in the variety of stuff you can buy. Also, you can expect more of the flavours on the market to taste the same no matter what firm makes them since the various ingredients that go into flavouring moassel will all have to be approved companies will end up using a lot less flavouring compounds and just stick with what has already been permitted. Expect the prices to go up significantly since the companies that make moassel will need to recover the costs of being hassled by the FDA.

People who think that all of this wonít effect narghile tobacco are fooling themselves because the anti-tobacco lobby is going after the hobby since itís popular with young adults and that means ďshisha tobacco companies must be targeting children with evil addictive chemicals!Ē. Also, the FDA is like all bureaucracies in that it wants to expend itís authority and budget so hoping it will ignore us is like hoping a bill collector will ignore you because heís already got lots of other people to hassle.

Someone raised the matter of an outright ban but personally I doubt that will happen simply because it would cost too much in terms of law enforcement at a time when money is needed for bailing out banks/insurance firms, various wars and health care nationalization boondoggles. The regulatory/legal liability costs plus ever greater tax burdens will make tobacco a very rare luxury item in the near future but itís a mistake to think that tobacco taxes are about raising money. If the state wanted more money they would cut tobacco taxes since the prices have so decreased consumption at this point that they have been losing money for some time. Also, the government has been pretty open about itís intention to force people to stop smoking by making it too expensive. Itís all about controlling what you do rather then about economics.
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