California Healthline Daily Edition

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations


      Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop this week "declined
to become a spokesman for a national coalition of public health
groups that wants Congress to approve a national tobacco
settlement, possibly signaling a new rift over the proposed
deal," Washington Post reports. In a letter to anti-tobacco
researcher Dr. Stanton Glantz of the University of California-San
Francisco, Koop said that the ENACT coalition is "being too meek
in its approach, and thus stands to lose important measures that
would reduce smoking by teenagers." Koop and former Food and
Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler "had strongly
criticized the original settlement proposal" and were
"instrumental in influencing the administration to seek greater
concessions for the tobacco industry" (see AHL 9/18).
Koop wrote to Glantz, "ENACT has asked me to be its
spokesperson and I cannot be a spokesperson for a program that
aims so low as far as public health goals are concerned." The
Post reports that Koop "took a swipe at ENACT," writing that he
"can't understand why these public health people are not carrying
the carrot out further in front of the horse."
Responding to news that Koop refused to be ENACT's spokesperson,
National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids' Matthew Myers said, "ENACT
supports the strongest possible public health plan. Like Dr.
Koop and Dr. Kessler, ENACT has endorsed President Clinton's
proposals ... it's hard to imagine how we're shooting low"
(Schwartz, 10/24).

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