Consider two substances, each with a body of research confirming its toxicity to human beings. People consume one of the substances for pleasure, and the other for its supposed health benefits. The World Health Organization actively bands nations together to reduce the marketability and consumption of the former, yet promotes the latter as an effective health measure. The essays in this book examine the policies governing these two substances: tobacco and fluoride.
Tobacco control policies have gained significant traction as nations around the world evaluate the success of Australia's recent laws concerning cigarette packaging. Given impetus by the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, these policies have met with little public resistance, their sole opponents the companies which manufacture tobacco products.
At the same time, another movement has gained traction: the opposition to adding fluoride to municipal water systems. Though the World Health Organization advocates fluoridation, a growing number of researchers and voters have called its touted benefits into question. Unlike tobacco, the efforts to eliminate fluoride have met resistance from the medical establishment.
What is the future of these two substances, each known to have harmful effects on human beings and yet viewed so differently in the court of public opinion? The two essays in this book will answer that question.