Thursday, August 06, 2009

Washington Times Op-Ed: Why are Anti-Smoking Groups Promoting Cigarette Smoking over Quitting?

An op-ed by Dr. Elizabeth Whelan - president of the American Council on Science and Health - in today's Washington Times asks why anti-smoking groups are promoting cigarette smoking over quitting by urging electronic cigarette users to return to the real cigarettes. Somehow, Dr. Whelan notes, anti-smoking groups seem to feel more comfortable with the idea of smokers using a product that we are familiar with, even though the product is responsible for what Dr. Whelan states are more than 450,000 deaths per year in the U.S.

Dr. Whelan writes: "At a time when the government is ostensibly trying to cut health costs, why is it trying to ban something that might help people quit smoking tobacco, perhaps the most devastating health problem in the U.S.? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a press conference late last month to scare Americans about the so-called "e-cigarette" -- claiming it was loaded with harmful "toxins" and "carcinogens." The agency was implicitly saying: Stay away from these newfangled, untested cigarette substitutes -- better to stick with the real ones, the ones that we are more familiar with, the ones that cause over 450,000 deaths annually in the U.S."

"In making its distorted, incomplete and misleading statement, FDA was violating its long-cherished tradition of sticking to sound science as the basis for its policies. And in doing so, it is putting the lives and health of millions of Americans at risk."

The Rest of the Story

On the heels of last night's NPR story on electronic cigarettes, I think we are making a definitive crack into the mainstream media in terms of getting the rational and science-based side of the story regarding electronic cigarettes out to the public.

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