The federal government’s new tobacco regulations could be vulnerable to legal challenges from the tobacco industry due to an included “happiness quotient,” according to a recent article in The New York Times.
The cost-benefit calculation of the new regulations assume that the benefits from reducing smoking – fewer early deaths and diseases of the lungs and heart – have to be discounted by 70 percent to offset the loss in pleasure that smokers suffer when they give up their habit.
Experts say that calculation wipes out most of the economic benefits from the regulations and the power of the Food and Drug Administration.
“This threatens the F.D.A.’s ability to take strong actions against tobacco,” said Frank J. Chaloupka, an economist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “If they can’t demonstrate that there is a significant economic benefit to doing it, then it makes their job much harder.”
A group of prominent economists believes the happiness quotient is way too high and should be changed before the regulations take effect. Read the full details here:
An incredible revelation about smoking cessation. Does the cost of quitting exceed the cost benefit? Any rational person would say no.
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