Ash Accuses E Cigarette Research of Being Compromised
In a recent letter attacking E Cigarette Direct (link removed since this post was first published), ASH claimed that Electronic Cigarette Companies could not be relied upon to be neutral because of their financial interest.
They also claimed that any research commissioned by Electronic Cigarette Companies was compromised.
That research includes an analysis by Murray Laugeson, former principal medical officer of the New Zealand Department of Health and winner of the World Health Organization Tobacco or Health medal and citation “for achievements deemed worthy of international recognition in promoting the concept of tobacco-free societies.”
Yet the very organisation that claims electronic cigarette research is compromised is accepting money from a major pharmaceutical company.
It’s not easy to find out where ASH’s money come from.
We know they make some money by charging for advice on how to separate children from their parents (page since removed).
But their financial reports are vague on the sources of their funds.
Pfizer, though, is not.
ASH is the first named partner in a $47 million dollar funding programme by Pfizer.
Pharmaceutical companies have a major interest in the electronic cigarette:
1. They sell billions of dollars of nicotine replacement aids per year. (Unfortunately, these don’t work.) The market for these aids has been largely created by the Big Pharm funding of the anti-smoking movement, which has seem hundreds of millions of dollars channelled to public health organisations, much of it via the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
2. The big pharmecutical companies are evidently worried by the nicotine cessation industry, as shown by a report entitled:
E-Cigarettes Will Revolutionize The Face Of Tobacco Smoking And Could Pose A Threat To the Smoking Cessation Market
3. By removing the current electronic cigarette companies, big pharm can benefit by introducing their own version of the electronic cigarette in their future. Their huge donation to public health organisations means that these bodies are unlikely to protest.
It is standard for commercial companies to fund research into their products.
The FDA itself is funded by pharmecutical companies and, more recently, by the tobacco companies whose products kill more than 400,000 a year.
Testing organisations are supposed to maintain independence despite the source of funds.
ASH has attacked E Cigarette research because they can not reply directly to the points raised by our recent letter to the Peninsula:
1. That the electronic cigarette contains less nicotine than real cigarettes.
2. That the ingredients of the electronic cigarette are far less harmful than those contained in real cigarettes.
That they have made this accusation at the same time as receiving money from organisations with a direct negative interest in Electronic Cigarettes is simply breathtaking in its level of hypocrisy.