Tobacco Free Kids – Don’t be taken in by Big Tobacco
PRESS RELEASE – RE: Tobacco Bill (S. 982)
To Tobacco Free Kids
On your website you say that you are working ‘to expose Big Tobacco lies’. We believe that in your support for Kennedy’s Tobacco Bill (S. 982) due to enter the Senate today (Tuesday 12th May) you have been taken in by the biggest of the big tobacco companies: Philip Morris.
The tobacco bill will require research into alternatives to cigarettes that Dr Joel Nitzkin, Chair of the Tobacco Control Task Force for the American Association of Public Health Physicians, says is impossible to carry out. The result will be a defacto ban on these products. Yet these alternatives carry a fraction of the risk of smoking.
Dr Joel Nitzkin believes that alternatives to smoking such as electronic cigarettes carry between one percent and one tenth of one percent of the risks of smoking. In other words, if every American switched to using the electronic cigarette the death rate would eventually fall from 400,000 to between 4000 and 400 a year. David Sweanor, who has advised the WHO amongst numerous other bodies on the subject of tobacco and tobacco control, agrees with this assessment, arguing that:
“If there is anyone who believes cigarettes are no more hazardous than e-cigarettes I’d recommend a remedial course in basic sciences.”
What’s more, current accepted methods of giving up are ineffective. The accepted rate for the effectiveness of nicotine replacement aids in helping people to give up is 5% (when measured at 12 months). In other words current methods fail 95% of smokers. Michael Siegel, professor in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department, Boston University School of Public Health, believes that the latest research shows that nicotine replacement aids have a success rate much lower than that, with just 1.6% of smokers achieving sustained abstinence at 12 months.
“…the bill will effectively condemn to death a third of those smokers who can’t or won’t give up but who would have switched to alternatives to cigarettes like the e-cigarette and snu’s.”
Given the high failure rate of quitting smoking with the most recommended method, we believe that the bill will effectively condemn to death a third of those smokers who can’t or won’t give up but who would have switched to alternatives to cigarettes like the e-cigarette and snus.
We understand that you are concerned that children might start using the electronic cigarette. However, currently there is no research to suggest children are more likely to take up the electronic cigarette than the regular cigarette. Instead of supporting a bill that bans electronic cigarettes, we suggest you work with electronic cigarette suppliers and the electronic cigarette association to research whether the e-cigarette might encourage children to take up smoking, and how we can work together to prevent that happening.
“We do not believe Philip Morris is supporting this bill because it wants to reduce tobacco use…”
We urge you to consider the fact that this bill has the support of Philip Morris. We do not believe Philip Morris is supporting this bill because it wants to reduce tobacco use, but because the bill will consolidate the company’s position by removing safer alternatives to smoking – safeguarding the sale of Philip Morris’s cigarettes for decades to come.
Please don’t remove choice from smokers, and please reconsider your support for the Tobacco Bill.
Thank you for your consideration, and please feel free to contact me at anytime.