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The Right to Choose: Why Governments Should Compel the Tobacco Industry To Disclose Their Ingredients

1 June 2005


Pursuant to the Doctrine of Consumer Sovereignty, we believe that tobacco companies should be compelled to disclose their ingredients so that the public health community can make more informed recommendations in order to protect consumer autonomy and sovereignty. However, a recent decision by the First Circuit precludes such a disclosure since it would be unduly burdensome to the industry, while granting only minimal gains to the public. We argue that many of the Court’s key claims rest on a misunderstanding of the science and chemistry of tobacco products. In our view, a mandatory disclosure of ingredients would more effectively protect the public interest, whilst posing minimal burdens on the tobacco industry.


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