Rush Limbaugh: Nicotine Addiction Debate and Poll
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PRO 1LIMBAUGH: "It has not been proven that nicotine is addictive, the same with cigarettes causing emphysema [and other diseases]." (Radio show, 4/29/94)
Nicotine's addictiveness has been reported in medical literature since the turn of the century. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop's 1988 report on nicotine addiction left no doubts on the subject; "Today the scientific base linking smoking to a number of chronic diseases is overwhelming, with a total of 50,000 studies from dozens of countries," states Encyclopedia Britannica's 1987 "Medical and Health Annual."
PRO 3 Rush's response to Fair
My point, made over and over again in recent months, is that if nicotine is really a terrible drug then Congress should just call it a terrible drug and ban it outright. The fact is that nicotine's addictiveness and whether or not it is a drug is, contrary to FAIR's assertion, a source of tremendous controversy -- so controversial that The Washington Post's lead editorial on July 2, 1994 dealt entirely with this issue. "[F]ood and drug commissioner David Kesslerhas begun an effort to determine whether nicotine-containing cigarettes meet the law's definition of a drug. If they do, the Food and Drug Administration has the duty to regulate them if cigarettes are a drug, and if they can't be shown in their present form to be safe and effective -- which a drug would have to be in order to be sold, and which is not very likely -- then what does the government do?"
Rush now says that people who sue the tobacco companies should take responsibility for their own actions. Maybe he's partly responsible for their addiction.
Rush is now telling us to ignore the environmental kooks who are warning us about global warming. Could this be another example of Rush spreading big industries propaganda?