Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Insanity of the Modern-Day Tobacco Control Movement: Approve and Protect Existing High-Risk Cigarettes; Get Rid of Everything Else

If you didn't know any better, you would think that the major, national anti-smoking groups were working with the intention of protecting tobacco company profits, especially those of the largest companies.

The current tobacco control agenda makes absolutely no sense. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and American Cancer Society have been working for years to promote legislation that institutionalizes and protects existing cigarettes. On top of that, they are doing everything they can to remove far safer products - like electronic cigarettes - from the market.

Ironically, these groups are doing exactly the opposite of what makes sense from a public health perspective.

1. They are trying to force ex-smokers who have quit with the help of vaping to return to cigarette smoking.

2. They have successfully gotten rid of the flavored cigarettes which no youth are smoking and protected the market share of menthol cigarettes which tens of thousands of kids are smoking.

3. They are worried about Camel orbs and other dissolvable tobacco products for which there is no evidence of significant use among youth, but at the same time, they have forced the FDA to give official approval to Marlboro, Camel, and Newport cigarettes - the products which are addicting those youths and ultimately killing them.

Frankly, there is no longer any difference between the agenda that these groups are supporting and that of Philip Morris. And that is a sad thing.

When you wake up every morning to find out that your policy agenda is precisely that of Philip Morris, it should give you pause and cause you to re-think your actions. Unfortunately, that has not happened with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and American Cancer Society. At this point, they are too far down the road to turn back.

The rest of the story is that these anti-smoking groups have forsaken the health of the public, and instead, are pursuing an agenda which is designed to institutionalize and protect the very products which are addicting our nation's youth and ultimately killing many of them.

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