Local Physician Works To Ban Tobacco in the U.S. - NBC 7 San Diego

Local Physician Works To Ban Tobacco in the U.S.

Dr. Bjork decided to appoint himself as acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner on Tobacco

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    Local Physician Works To Ban Tobacco in the U.S.

    NBC 7's Danielle Radin talks to a Carmel Valley doctor taking matters into his own hands. (Published Wednesday, May 1, 2019)

    A local doctor is fed up with widespread tobacco use in America and is now taking policy into his own hands. 

    Dr. Robert Bjork is a pediatrician in Carmel Valley. He is haunted by statistics by the Surgeon General saying tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States. 

    "Tobacco is poisonous," said Dr. Bjork. "It's lethal and it must be eliminated to secure a healthy future for America." 

    The concerns are with cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and any other product containing the substance. 

    Dr. Bjork wrote multiple letters to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration expressing his concerns on tobacco

    After multiple unanswered letters, Dr. Bjork decided to appoint himself as acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner on Tobacco. 

    "This is by default due to non-action by all past and acting FDA commissioners on this issue," said Dr. Bjork. "In my role, I would report directly to the president." 

    Dr. Bjork wrote a letter to President Donald Trump, laying out a plan to begin raising federal taxes on tobacco manufacturers and ultimately ban tobacco in the next five to seven years in the United States. 

    "Much like how opium and cocaine were made illegal for general use," added Dr. Bjork. 

    Ten months later, President Trump wrote him back, thanking him for his ideas and laying out his policy for healthcare.