Penn State

Jonathan Foulds - Professor of Public Health Sciences & Psychiatry, Penn State College of Medicine, The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Book Title: A Question of Intent: A Great American Battle With A Deadly Industry

Author: David Kessler

Book Description:

This book, written by the then commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, outlines the first (unsuccessful) attempt to have FDA regulate the tobacco industry. I have chosen this book as my career has focused on trying to reduce the harm to health from tobacco, both by studying nicotine psychopharmacology/smoking cessation and by trying to improve regulation of tobacco products. The events described in the book laid the groundwork for the legislation eventually passed in 2009 (Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act) that gave FDA the right to regulate tobacco products in the United States. My award of tenure was partly a result of us successfully obtaining over $23 million in NIH/FDA research grants to conduct tobacco regulatory science at Penn State. The book provides some important insight into the events that led to tobacco regulation in the United States. I hope that both students and faculty at Penn State will read the book in order to understand both the tobacco industry and the legal basis for FDA regulation of tobacco.

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