Thursday, November 21, 2013

Correction: Tobacco Company Didn't State that Smoking is No More Harmful than Vaping; Only Anti-Smoking Groups are Making Such Statements

The Rest of the Story issues the following correction:

Like 60 Minutes, the Rest of the Story relied on a source that provided false information. It is not true that any U.S. tobacco company claimed that cigarettes may be no more harmful than electronic cigarettes. It is solely and exclusively public health and anti-smoking agencies and organizations that are making such claims.

In light of this revelation, the Rest of the Story retracts and corrects the final paragraph of that post, changing it from:

"Given the significant amount of damage that could be done because of this company's public statements, I would hope that public health and tobacco control organizations would promptly and vigorously attack this company for making these fraudulent health claims, and demand that it immediately retract and correct these statements and issue a public apology. "

to

"Given the significant amount of damage that could be done because of the health and anti-smoking groups' public statements, I would hope that public health and tobacco control organizations would promptly and vigorously attack these agencies and organizations for making these fraudulent health claims, and demand that they immediately retract and correct these statements and issue a public apology. "

The most important thing to every person at the Rest of the Story is the truth, and today the truth is that we made a mistake. This is a very disappointing situation. We realized that we no longer had confidence in our source. We took the vetting of our source very seriously, but he misled everyone.

We apologize to the tobacco companies for insinuating that one of them was lying to the American public. We reiterate: it was only the public health and anti-smoking groups that were lying, not the tobacco companies.

The Rest of the Story

You can only imagine how disillusioned I am with the current state of affairs in the tobacco control movement. Of course, the post about the tobacco company claiming that electronic cigarettes being no more dangerous than tobacco cigarettes was not true. But it demonstrates how ludicrous the situation in tobacco control is right now. The state of affairs is so ridiculous that when I write about a tobacco company making a false statement to the public, readers are almost uniformly aware that it is a complete joke, but when I write that anti-smoking groups are making precisely the same claim, it is suddenly believable, and in fact, true.

It was quite telling that very soon after my original post, the CDC emailed me wanting to know the name of the tobacco company so that they could "follow up on this as soon as possible." But the statement that apparently offended them was precisely the same statement that CDC makes on its web site! In fact, this fictitious tobacco company was quoting the CDC's statement as supporting evidence for its claim that smoking may be no more hazardous than vaping!

Moreover, why wasn't the CDC interested in following up on the very same fraudulent statements that have been made over the past months by public health organizations and agencies, including the FDA, American Legacy Foundation, American Cancer Society, and American Lung Association?

Apparently, fraudulent statements are only of concern when made by the tobacco companies. The very same statements made by anti-smoking groups are acceptable.

Isn't it time that we start holding ourselves to at least the same standards that we hold the tobacco companies? If we are going to attack the tobacco companies for their dishonesty, shouldn't we be honest ourselves?

1 comment:

Blogger said...

After doing some online research, I've ordered my first electronic cigarette kit from VistaVapors.