Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)


The following essay is adapted from testimony presented to the Senate Democratic Task Force on Tobacco in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 9 1997, which in turn is based on the authors' forthcoming article, "The Costs of Cigarettes: The Economic Case for Ex Post Incentive-based Regulation," 107 Yale Law Journal (March 1998)

If the goal of cigarette regulation is either to reduce substantially the public health problem created by cigarette smoking or to allocate the costs of smoking more equitably, there are significantly better alternatives to the regulatory regime than would be created by the state attorneys general's Proposed Tobacco Resolution. Indeed, from either perspective, we are doubtful that the current proposal represents an improvement over the status quo. Our study of the issue leads us to make two largely independent criticisms of the proposed resolution. We will only mention the first here and will focus our attention on the second.