Monday, December 14, 2015

FDA Wants to Know if Your Cigarette is Defective, Damaged, or Contaminated, But Doesn't Care if It Kills You

In a communication I thought I would never see from a public health agency, the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has alerted consumers to notify them if their cigarettes are defective or contaminated, but not if they cause severe adverse health effects, like cancer, heart disease, lung disease, stroke, or death.

The tweet from CTP states: "There's no safe #tobacco product, but if it’s defective, damaged, or contaminated, let us know." It then refers consumers to a link where they can report the defective product.

However, the FDA provided no link to report the actual, devastating health consequences of smoking. Apparently, the 400,000 deaths that occur each year from smoking are just fine, but God forbid if a cigarette ever is contaminated or doesn't work "properly."

It's not even clear what the FDA means by a "defective" cigarette. I suppose that electronic cigarettes could all be viewed as defective, since unlike real cigarettes, they don't give you heart disease, cancer, lung disease, stroke, or death. Perhaps all vapers should be reporting to the FDA in droves, complaining that unlike the "approved" FDA cigarettes, these unregulated vaping devices are causing no harm.

Ironically, while the FDA seems very concerned about cigarettes that don't work properly or which are "contaminated," they have not shown a shred of concern about the actual disease and death being caused by these products. In fact, the FDA has yet to take a single action to reduce the risk posed by cigarettes. It has not established a single safety standard. It has not reduced the tar or nicotine levels in the product. It has not required the removal of harmful additives. It has literally done nothing to address the safety of tobacco cigarettes. On the other hand, it is poised to essentially pull almost all of the tobacco-free cigarettes from the market.

The Rest of the Story

Today I am starting a campaign, entitled "Don't Settle for Less," which is aimed at vapers nationwide. The key message is this:

"Vapers: Demand health damage from your e-cigarettes! Don't let cigarettes get away with being the only cigarette-like "tobacco product" to kill many of their users. Complain to the FDA and tell them that you, too, want to experience severe shortness of breath, lose your mobility due to a severe stroke, die from cancer, and have to use an oxygen tank because of emphysema. Demand that e-cigarette companies be forced to use actual tobacco in their products and to provide devices that burn, instead of heat the tobacco so that you can once again experience the huge health risks of inhaling more than 10,000 chemicals and more than 60 known human carcinogens."

"Don't settle for a defective cigarette that has been shown not to have the cytotoxicity of the real thing. Don't settle for a defective tobacco product that doesn't even contain tobacco. And certainly don't settle for a defective cigarette that improves your breathing within days, rather than worsening your respiratory symptoms. Tell the FDA that you want to experience the full health risks from cigarette use, not the piddly risks associated with low levels of a few chemicals. Demand that you get your money's worth and can inhale more than 10,000 chemicals, rather than just a few. You're paying for it. So don't settle for less when you could have it all. Demand full toxicity."

"Insist that all cigarettes, even electronic ones, use real tobacco. After all, according to the FDA, you're using a "tobacco" product. So demand that you get tobacco in your product! Only then will you be able to ensure that your favorite product stays on the market and that it doesn't have to go out of business because of the costs of completing a 100,000-page application for approval. Tell the FDA that you want the security of knowing that your product of choice has been grandfathered in and is approved for perpetual sale and marketing in the United States."

"Most importantly, tell the FDA that you want known health risks from your product, not speculative or hypothetical risks. Look, you're paying real money, not hypothetical money. So demand real risks."

The "Don't Settle for Less" campaign was developed and produced by The Rest of the Story. It has been trademarked by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Any infringement of this trademark or its use without the authorization of the trademark owner is a violation of the exclusive rights of The Rest of the Story.

(Thanks to Carl Phillips for noticing this revealing tweet.)

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