Thursday, February 04, 2010

Utah's Proposed Action on E-Cigarettes Shows the Absurdity of the Anti-Smoking Movement's Entire Approach to Tobacco Policy

A bill approved Tuesday by a Utah state legislative subcommittee would ban electronic cigarettes and candy-flavored tobacco products. The only exception would be cigarettes or other tobacco products that are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

According to an article on St. Lake City's ABC4 website: "Smoking is still legal in our state. But if you want to smoke e-cigarettes time could be running out. Today a House sub-committee approved a bill that would ban e-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, and any other flavored tobacco products including those that look like candy. The only exceptions would be products approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."

The bill that was approved is the second substitute of Senate Bill 71, sponsored by Rep. Paul Ray (R-Clearfield). The bill now moves on to consideration by the full House.

The Rest of the Story

By "products that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration," what Utah legislators actually mean is the most irredeemably toxic products -- such as Marlboros, Camels, and Newports -- which we know are causing hundreds of thousands of deaths each year in the United States.

Ironically, it is now the case that the FDA has officially approved Marlboro, Camel, Newport, Winston, Salem, Virginia Slims and a host of other highly toxic cigarette products, while officially disapproving undeniably safer products, like electronic cigarettes, which deliver vaporized nicotine from a solution made up almost entirely of propylene glycol and nicotine.

What Utah is basically saying is: "We don't mind if you smoke, as long as you smoke the most deadly products available. The most highly toxic cigarettes are fine by us, but the clearly safer ones are not allowed in our state."

And the sad thing is - this is exactly what the anti-smoking movement is saying. The most deadly products - such as Marlboro, Camel, and Newport - are now FDA-approved and officially sanctioned by the FDA and the anti-smoking groups. But the products which are being used by smokers trying to quit their Marlboros, Camels, and Newports - namely, electronic cigarettes - are not recommended by the FDA and anti-smoking groups.

In other words, it is now the official policy of the government and the anti-smoking movement that they would prefer people continue to smoke the most highly toxic consumer products on the market, rather than make serious attempts to quit smoking by switching to a clearly much safer alternative that contains no tobacco and for many brands, has been demonstrated not to deliver any tobacco-specific nitrosamines.

In other words, the anti-smoking movement wants smokers to smoke cigarettes with documented high levels of proven, potent carcinogens like NNN (N-nitrosonornicotine) and NNK (nitrosamine 4-(methylnitro-samino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone), rather than switch to a product which has helped thousands of people quit smoking and has been demonstrated not to contain anything more than trace levels of carcinogens, including no detectable NNN or NNK in at least several brands.

The basic policy of the anti-smoking movement, then, is exactly the opposite of what it should be. Rather than encouraging smokers who have already quit smoking by using a much safer alternative - a non-tobacco product, the movement wants them to be forced to return to inhaling high concentrations of NNN and NNK.

I honestly never dreamed of seeing this day. An absolutely shocking turn of events in tobacco control. We are now promoting disease and death and trying to inhibit people - or to outright prevent them - from taking action to protect their health and possibly save their lives.

And it's all because the anti-smoking groups can't stand the idea that a person might actually go through the motions of what appears to be cigarette smoking.

It's no longer about the science or even about the public's health. It's purely about the promotion of a narrow-minded ideology.

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