Cigarette Harm Reduction – reply to Tommieboy

Tommieboy, you raise a good point and one which goes to the heart of this issue.

How do you produce a less harmful cigarette and who stands in the way?

The answer; almost everybody. The lawyers will have a field day and the cigarette companies know it. The Federal government has no clue how to go about this and the public health community derides anything to do with cigarettes.

Not particularly helpful to our cigarette smokers, who would benefit from having a choice.

The technology exists today to produce a less harmful cigarette. Let’s be clear – I didn’t say safe – I said, less harmful.

This is the very essence of PREPs (Potentailly Reduced Exposure Products.)

Whether you agree with government intervention or not – the Federal government is the only one capable of establishing the framework.

Perhaps this could be done under FDA.

Logically if FDA requires benchmarking of tar, nicotine, CO and other smoke constituents then the next future step could be reductions in specified smokes contituents. Unless the FDA (or similar) mandates it then the arguments for not doing it will continue.

In this context the public health community should do the public health of smokers a favor and back off – permitting development and sale of PREP-like products. Would cigarettes be instantly safer? No! Would it be the first step – absolutely. Is this worth doing? Yes.

13 comments ↓

#1 Tommieboy on 06.20.08 at 12:41 AM

Love to hear what others say but I think that if there was a safe cigarette it would have folks just say – no way it’s tobacco therefore it be evil. You ever think of the paradoxes? California wants to just do away with tobacco but legalize marijuana? Last time I checked folks light up a joint. Isn’t there smoke?

#2 Walter Raleigh on 06.23.08 at 9:44 PM

Looks like one issue would be consumer acceptance. PM announced the following today regarding what for some time they denied being a potentially reduced exposure product!

Philip Morris USA has withdrawn its Marlboro Ultra Smooth cigarettes, a potentially reduced risk product that uses a high-technology carbon filter impregnated with metals, sulphur and nitrogen to improve the ability to absorb some harmful compounds, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on June 23rd.

#3 NWTobacco on 06.24.08 at 1:24 AM

Chris,

In reading your post it’s obvious that you lean towards the event not happening. Your view has also been clouded by the smoke. Is it possible to make a cigarette device that has no harm? I believe it will happen. You will see it in your lifetime! There is just too much activity in this arena. Keep the faith!

#4 Troubadour on 06.29.08 at 11:08 AM

Best of luck to whoever does create the perfect smoke as it most likely will run into a federally funded program that will not allow for it to make any claims. HR1108 needs to be stopped!

#5 Phil McCrakin on 06.29.08 at 2:57 PM

If H1108/S625 is passed under its current state, it will be years before our battleship of a government can properly turn this around and enforce anything.

However, the technology is there and safer tobacco is on the horizon. Companies will just not be able to tell the consumer that these products are safer under this horribly written bill without a ton of money being spent to satisfy the out of touch Washington democrats. This puts small companies at a disadvantage and only leaves innovations to the big companies that can afford change.

#6 Copenhagen Charlie on 07.05.08 at 8:03 PM

It’s a shame that there are those that even if you could make a safe product that just the mention of the word tobacco will just put them on the offensive to stop it! Shallow thinking! I agree with Phil that safe tobacco is on the horizon.

#7 OTP Kid on 07.23.08 at 5:07 PM

Memo to the Industry:
There will never be a day when anyone in this industry will be allowed to claim “harm reduction” on any tobacco product, whether that claim is true matters not. Anti-tobacco forces hate tobacco in any form or delivery device and their aim is to abolish it. As soon as these claims reach the public ear, a backlash will result and the media will be all over the story supporting the “anti’s” and claiming BIG TOBACCO is out to get the public again.

Fell free to print this comment off and make a copy of it for your files. That way I won’t have to remind you what I told you was going happen.

#8 kentucky rebel on 07.23.08 at 10:57 PM

I’m a rebel by nature so OTP kid I’m willing to fight for the cause. I just hate to give up when I know the truth.

#9 OTP Kid on 07.24.08 at 3:10 PM

I am willing to fight the fight as well, but the industry decided to compromise and it’s been downhill ever since. I can just tell you now what’s going to happen using words like “harm reduction” – it will never fly. If you want to fight the fight, don’t let the FDA manage tobacco and fight PM, USST and Swedish Match who are dumb enough to support it.

#10 kentucky rebel on 07.25.08 at 11:45 PM

The problem is retailers are not in tune to the real truth. Everyone knows PM is supporting this so they can control the industry but then the retailers just jump in line and obey the evil empire that will ruin the tobacco industry. And I think USST & Swedish must be smoking their moist tobacco. I agree pretty dumb. As I look thru the blog it’s obvious there is very little support for FDA regulation. With George Bush already declaring he will veto the bill if it passes it will probably be a political tool used by the liberals to blame George.

#11 John Rolfe on 08.02.08 at 12:10 PM

Depending on how you want to define “safe tobacco” it is out there already in the form of the tobacco extract that is sold to Big Pharma for use in transdermal nicotine patches, sprays and lozenges…it’s just that they don’t want anyone to know that they are in the tobacco business already, so a big part of their smokescreen is to do like Glaxo Smithkline does and hire people like Jack Henningfield and Mitch Zeller who respectively testified before Congress on FDA regulation and who direct the affairs of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, the research arm of the tobacco control/public health movement. The bigger question will be whether those companies — tobacco companies — who really know much more about how the human body ingests nicotine will be allowed to also play in the new field of nicotine delivery devices or whether they will be excluded from this market due to their well-earned but blemished public relations record.

So then what one might expect, as crazy as it may now seem, is a joint venture between a pharmaceutical company and a tobacco company where the latter manufactures what the former sells.

#12 NWTobacco on 08.02.08 at 4:02 PM

In response to John Rolfe’s comments — interesting thought. You need to go check on a company based in Richmond, Va called Chrysalis Technologies. A leading company in pulmonary medication? Guess who? It’s not what your prescribing but interesting.

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