Monday July 12, 1999
AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today joined an amici curiae brief filed in the US Supreme Court in Food and Drug Administration (FDA) v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., et al., supporting FDA regulations restricting the promotion and sale of tobacco products to minors. Texas and the thirty-nine other states joining the brief seek the reversal of the Fourth Circuit's decision that the FDA does not have jurisdiction to regulate tobacco products.
"Nicotine is clearly a drug," said Attorney General Cornyn. "The Supreme Court should affirm the FDA's power to regulate this addictive substance and keep it out of the hands of our children."
The amici curiae brief states that:
"The Fourth Circuit's decision misapplies important, well-settled principles of administrative law that require deference to the FDA's judgment and permit the FDA to determine which products fit within the broad statutory framework regulation of 'drugs' and 'devices' under FDCA (Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act). The circuit court substituted its judgment for that of the FDA, and essentially ignored the compelling - but until recently secret - evidence from the tobacco industry's own files relied upon by the FDA in asserting jurisdiction over tobacco products."(Page 3)
Attorney General Cornyn has long supported the legal arguments for regulating nicotine. While a member of the Texas Supreme Court, Cornyn wrote the majority opinion in American Tobacco Company v. Grinnell (1997) which stated: "Addiction is a danger apart from the direct physical dangers of smoking because the addictive nature of cigarettes multiplies the likelihood of and contributes to the smoker's ultimate injury...This Court has also recognized the seriousness of addiction and the need for manufacturers to warn of this danger..."(Page 10)
- 30 -