Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Anti-Smoking Researcher Promoting "Anti-Smoking" Campaigns that Discourage Smokers from Quitting

Believe it or not, you did not misread that headline.

A prominent anti-smoking researcher and advocate is promoting "anti-smoking" campaigns that actually discourage many smokers from quitting.

Specifically, Dr. Stan Glantz wants anti-smoking campaigns to include anti-e-cigarette messages as well. He has called for anti-smoking campaigns that actively discourage smokers from quitting - at least those smokers who are thinking of quitting using e-cigarettes.

On his tobacco blog, Glantz offers the following recommendation: "States need to include ecigs in their anti-tobacco marketing campaigns, especially the fact that they pollute the air."

The effect of this message would be to discourage all electronic cigarette use, hindering or preventing literally thousands of smokers from quitting.

The Rest of the Story

You know that your movement is deteriorating when one of its prominent advocates wants anti-smoking campaigns that actively discourage thousands of smokers from quitting just because he has some sort of ideological opposition to a smoking cessation device that looks like a cigarette.

Look - there are many legitimate areas of uncertainty and disagreement about electronic cigarettes, including details about how they should be regulated, their long-term effects, the extent of their use by minors, whether they should be allowed in places where smoking is banned, etc. However, so far, only anti-smoking groups have actively discouraged people from quitting smoking using these devices. Only anti-smoking groups have condemned people who have literally saved their lives by quitting smoking, condemning them simply because they didn't quit "the right way." Only a movement that has become divorced from its public health objectives could be so blinded by ideology that it begins promoting policies and programs that will destroy its own goals.

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