By Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General
As Florida’s Attorney General, I have fought the epidemic of prescription drug abuse since taking office in 2011. At the beginning of my term, prescription drug overdoses were steadily rising over the past seven years. Florida was known as the “pill mill capital of the country” with drug dealers from all over the country traveling to my state to stock up on prescription painkillers. Ninety-eight of the top 100 Oxycodone dispensing doctors lived in Florida. Florida gained national notoriety because of the pill mills throughout the state that were prescribing and dispensing large amounts of controlled substances outside the scopes of standard medical practice. Florida became the destination for distributors and abusers, and seven Floridians were dying every day as a result.
By Michael Freiberg, Tobacco Control Legal Consortium
Menthol cigarettes have been used for years to target vulnerable populations and are consumed by nearly half of all youth smokers. The cooling properties of menthol reduce the harshness of tobacco and the irritation of nicotine in cigarettes. As a result, menthol cigarettes are a popular choice among those first starting to smoke. Indeed, menthol cigarettes are the source of addiction for nearly half of all teen smokers. These products are also used at disproportionately higher rates by communities of color. It is therefore no surprise that the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, the committee created by Congress in part to examine the health effects of menthol, concluded in 2011 that “removal of menthol cigarettes from the marketplace would benefit public health in the United States.”
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