Professor: Tobacco Free Kids Will Help Kill Millions

In a letter to ECigarette Direct, Brad Radu, a professor of medicine and holder of an endowed chair in tobacco harm reduction research at the University of Louisville, criticizes Tobacco Free Kids for opposing safe alternatives to smoking and for supporting the Kennedy tobacco bill due to enter the senate next week.

According to the Professor, the stance taken by the organization was not a rational position but a moralistic one:

“There is no public health justification for denying smokers information about and access to safer sources of tobacco and nicotine. But the war against tobacco, conducted by Tobacco Free Kids and their allies, is not about public health. It has become the latest in a long line of misguided American moral crusades.”

The letter was itself a comment upon an open letter to Tobacco Free Kids, which the Professor predicted there would be no reply to. He was also gloomy on the prospects of the Kennedy tobacco bill being defeated, remarking:

“The American legislative process is closed to all but a few powerful interests, who will soon be gloating over their “success” in passing FDA regulation of tobacco.”

Ultimately, the professor thought, the actions of groups like Tobacco Free Kids and similar groups would costs lives.

“I am convinced that these anti-tobacco extremists will eventually be held partially responsible for the deaths of millions of uninformed smokers.”

We forwarded both the open letter and Brad Radu’s reply to Tobacco Free Kids, but have yet to receive a comment.

What do you think? Is the position of the bodies like Tobacco Free Kids a blind crusade against tobacco, or a practical stance taken to protect the young against the dangers of nicotine addiction?

22 comments ↓

#1 jancascade on 05.16.09 at 1:22 AM

Prof. Radu has hit the nail on the head. Many in anti tobacco have sold their souls for the almightly tax dollars. They care not a bit about smokers health, but the health of their funding. It has become as much a moral crusade as Prohibition.

Smoking is at the lowest level, yet the cost of health care is at its’ highest. I keep wondering where the health cost saving are and even it there will be any if every single person stopped smoking.

Anti tobacco, health cost savings, its a lie that won’t fly anymore!

#2 Larry Waters on 05.16.09 at 3:12 AM

Rebels without a cause: that’s what the anti-tobacco zealots would become if Reduced Harm Tobacco like Swedish Snus really took hold. It’s not about “the children” anymore; it’s about the anti-tobacco groups staying relevant in Washington and funded.

The US Government gave up any moral authority on cigarettes when instead of banning cigarettes in 1964 when the Surgeon Generals report came out (like they did with Thalidomide, DDT, and asbestos), they sold out from a now $250BB “settlement”. In exchange, we lost Joe Camel and the Marlboro man.

The blood of every American who died cigarette related deaths since 1964 is on the hands of the American State and Federal Governments.

Minors are prohibited by law from buying or using any tobacco products. Too bad we don’t enforce the laws. Oh the poor children!

No one on the Reduced Harm Tobacco side has ever suggested, hinted at or encouraged non-tobacco users to suddenly start using Swedish Snus.

Professor Rodu often quotes the number 98%. Snus is 98% safer than cigarettes.

The Swedish government, who has regulated snus as a food product since 1970, has removed the requirement of the warning label “this product may cause Mouth Cancer”……because they have the long term studies and the living laboratories of Sweden and Norway to prove it doesn’t.

For those 46MM Americans who are nicotine addicted or just like the taste of tobacco; still a legal substance, Swedish/Swedish Style snus is a major win for everyone.

Snus is completely discreet, there is no spitting or “second-hand-snus” so no one else is affected.

Snusing at work means no need for cigarette breaks and increased productivity. No cigarette breaks during the winter means less sick time for tobacco users and lower health insurance premiums.

Snus also does not in any remote way cause lung or throat cancer. Huge saving to the health care and Medicare systems.

Snus is 50% less likely to be a contributing factor to pancreatic cancer than cigarettes. More savings.

No more deaths or property destruction from lit cigarettes starting fires. And the list goes on and on.

It’s ironic that the tobacco advocates who yell the loudest about abolishing all forms of tobacco also believe sexual abstinence programs are a joke and birth control and morning after pills should be given freely (and free) to “the children”.

Apparently, tobacco abstinence is viable while sexual abstinence is not.

What will finally decide all of this, though, is what always decides issues like this: money.

Cigarettes can’t be abolished or made by FDA to be so unpalatable to smokers until another punitively taxable replacement is in place. The Federal and especially the State Governments would collapse within weeks without tobacco tax revenue.

When Reynolds and PMUSA began test marketing snus-like products back in 2006, it wasn’t because they were bored making obscene profits on cigarettes. It’s because they saw the handwriting on the wall.

Tyranny of the Majority: with the overwhelming majority of Americans now none-cigarette users, politicians have to appease the now powerful anti-tobacco lobbies or risk losing campaign contributions and elections.

On the other hand, 46MM Americans is still a pretty substantial voting block especially considering the demographics of who cigarette smokers are.

When Congress tried to ban menthol, the outcry especially from the inner cities was too loud to be ignored. The effort failed.

Kennedy/Waxman provides the solution. FDA will specifically not have the power to ban cigarettes or nicotine. They will have the power to regulate ingredients, flavorings, and nicotine levels.

As evidenced by anyone who tried really hard to switch to Reynolds alleged Reduced Harm Cigarette Eclipse Regular proved cigarettes can be made so unpalatable that even smokers can’t stand the taste.

FDA will ban menthol. Menthol smokers will rise up and scream like they did last time. The difference this time is that Congress will throw up their hands and say “Hey, it wasn’t us. FDA is a regulatory body and they’re the ones that did this. We can’t stop them. We feel your pain.”

They initial effect of the menthol ban will be to put Lorillard tobacco out of business virtually overnight. Their entire business plan and the entire company is based around Newport Cigarettes. Without Newport, there is no Lorillard. They squandered the Triumph Snus opportunity.

After menthol will come other FDA attacks on cigarette flavorings. The 8% to 18% sugar content of cigarettes will be ruled a health risk visa-vie diabetes, which is also out of control in this country. Next nicotine levels in cigarettes will be lowered. Forty six million Americans will be in agony.

And that’s when all the tobacco companies sitting on the side-lines in their little test markets will burst out full blast with snus.

There is a provision for FDA to establish a Reduced Harm Tobacco category if they so choose. They will choose to.

Hearing will be held accusing Big Tobacco of endangering “the children” with Snus. Reynolds is prepared for that.

Camel Orbs, sticks and the other silly products of that type were throw-away’s : no real smoker would get satisfaction out of them and they would be attractive to children.

In the upcoming Snus Settlement, Reynolds and others will agree to pull these products from the market and never make them again, crying crocodile tears the entire time.

In return, they will be left to market snus. The current Class M tax rate charged on snus will suddenly change to one like Sweden’s where a 100% tax was first levied; the following year an additional 50% tax increase was added.

If FDA regulates snus made in the United States the same way Sweden does, this will be a general win for everyone.

Cigarette smokers will be able to transition to a product 98% safer than cigarettes; tobacco companies will raise the nicotine levels to ensure no smoker gets the silly idea of giving up tobacco, the former smokers will no longer be harassed and discriminated against for using a legal substance in public, and non-snus users can breath easy again.

Actually they can breath easy now: On the entire planet, there is not one signed death certificate listing supposed second-hand-smoke as the cause of death.

But at least they won’t have to deal with the smell of cigarettes which is what this has been all about in the first place.

Government budgets will be saved by punitively taxing Snus the same way they did cigarettes.

The anti-tobacco lobbies will lose their relevancy, power, and the threat they posed to politicians.

Once marginalized, Washington can get back to business as usual by accepting huge political contributions from Big Tobacco in peace and continue their overriding goal of staying in power for as long as possible, reaping huge perks, a medical plan anyone in this country would kill for, and ultimately, the huge pensions once they decide to “retire”.

As ominous as Kennedy/Waxman appears now, remember it has to get through the Senate which will change it and then go to conference to resolve the differences in the House and Senate versions.

Big American Tobacco is prepared. They can turn snus distribution on nationwide with the flick of a switch. So let not your heart be troubled.

Just follow the money. That’s how things work and always will work in America.

Follow the money and we will be a cigarette free and a Reduced Harm Tobacco nation. The alternative, especially in these days of trillion dollar budget deficits would be the financial collapse of the first the United States, and then the World as we defaulted on our debt.

Keep your eye on the money and you will see everything will work out just fine.

Larry Waters

#3 Desert Dude on 05.18.09 at 12:17 AM

I know that many will just look at this thought and dismiss it as some whacked out cigarette supporter but I find that this is amazingly true when you realize that if the money from tobacco disappeared the anti groups like TFK would be penniless! So in essence the comments are true. Big Government has partnered with Philip Morris, TFK and Matt Meyers who is blinded by the word tobacco. Hey Matt why not get a life and really help save life’s and support harm reduction.

#4 Citizen on 05.19.09 at 10:44 PM

Dr. Brad Radu said: “But the war against tobacco, conducted by Tobacco Free Kids and their allies, is not about public health. It has become the latest in a long line of misguided American moral crusades.”

In a 1994 brainstorming document, tobacco company R. J. Reynolds sought to determine strategies the company could use to fight the emerging information that second-hand smoke is hazardous to health. [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Secondhand_smoke#Tobacco_industry_documents] Responses to the question, “What is the most important strategy we [RJR] could take?” included:

“Explain how ETS [Environmental Tobacco Smoke] is part of prohibition effort.”

Responses to “What are the primary and secondary messages we want to deliver?” included:

“The furor over ETS is a result of the anti-smoking industry activists who have taken it upon themselves to control our lives.”

Miscellaneous: “Don’t stop until the war is over.”
[http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/lzf43d00]

I had never even heard of Brad Radu before today. So I did a quick google search. Was I surprised to discover that Dr. Radu has accepted tobacco research money? No, I wasn’t. I could have predicted it, because it is all too easy to recognize such individuals by their rhetoric long before we learn of their tobacco industry funding.

#5 Larry Waters on 05.20.09 at 4:19 AM

You know CITIZEN, that’s pretty ironic as those of us on the Reduced Harm Tobacco side can tell by the blinder’s-on rhetoric, which comments belong to the shills of the anti-tobacco zealot groups.

These same groups hide behind children and survive on cash contributions and freely spend it pushing their world-view….agree 100% with us or you are wrong.

Another telling sign is they always sign their name Anonymous, Citizen, or something equally as silly.

The 20 and 30 year studies Proving Swedish Snus does not cause oral, throat, or lung cancer are Real.

The fact the Swedish Government has removed the requirement for snus in Sweden to carry the warning “This Product May Cause Mouth Cancer” is because it’s true and the Science is there to back it up.

The fact that Swedish snus is 93% to 98% safer than cigarettes is a Proven Fact; not something Dr. Rodu or others pulled out of thin air.

No one advocates non-smokers begin using tobacco products of any kind. But for harassed and punitively taxed cigarette smokers who are either nicotine addicted or frankly like using tobacco, Swedish Snus is an absolutely fantastic alternative to cigarettes.

Dr. Rodu, for whom I have tremendous respect for personally and for his extensive body of work, does take money from the tobacco industry and makes that very clear in his bio and in postscripts to his writings. That doesn’t make his findings incorrect or invalidate the findings of others he quotes who may or may not take money from the tobacco industry.

The United States Federal and State Governments also take money from the tobacco industry: $250BB now in the “Tobacco Settlement”, countless billions more from tobacco users in punitive taxes, and of course individual politicians who have cried crocodile tears since the Surgeon General’s report came out in 1964 but kept taking more money.

What is dishonest is the so-called “science” on the anti-tobacco zealot side. These ideology and agenda-driven pseudo-scientists bend and distort the truth to support their viewpoint…and that of those they are accepting money from but don’t disclose.

Fact: not one death certificate has ever been signed by a doctor on the planet Earth stating “second hand smoke” was the cause of death.

Fact: When snus appeared in the United States, your scientists pulled studies out of thin air claiming it quadrupled the risk of pancreatic cancer. Shortly after, the facts forced them to recant and say it doubled the risks of pancreatic cancer in non-tobacco users…they believed.

What they conveniently left out is that cigarette smokers who switch to Swedish Snus reduce their risk of pancreatic cancer in half.

What the conveniently left out is while tobacco can be a cause of pancreatic cancer, it’s not considered anywhere near a major cause. Just more rushed junk science to support their opinions as opposed to the facts.

Of course, you’re blinded to that as the rights and desires of others mean nothing to you. You don’t like the smell of cigarettes, therefore they should be banned. You don’t use tobacco therefore no one should use tobacco. It’s funny how utterly inflexible “caring liberals” are.

The truth is without the insanely high cigarette and tobacco tax revenues Federal and Local governments collect in the United States, the entire economy would collapse.

And the truth really is you’re fine with that because if all tobacco were actually banned….you would be irrelevant, the anti-tobacco zealot groups would be irrelevant and broke, and you might actually have to start doing some honest work to make a living.

By the way, that is my real name above and since SnusCENTRAL.org is an informational site on primarily Swedish and American Snus, I do permit reduced harm tobacco companies to purchase advertising from me.

If that makes me an evil Snus Lord in your eyes, so be it. I am a passionate advocate of Swedish Snus and am quite open about it…”Citizen”.

You neglected to mention who funds your paycheck, “Citizen”?

#6 Citizen on 05.20.09 at 12:55 PM

Thanks for your honesty about your tobacco industry funding, Larry. I will be equally honest: I have never asked for or received a dime in return for my smoke-free advocacy. The future prospects of cleaner air in public places are payment enough. And I find it interesting that you would make that assumption without any indication (much less any proof) that I am paid by anyone. I have noticed that unfounded ad hominem attacks are part of every denialist’s toolbox; it’s really all they’ve got left when faced with the medical evidence against smoking and secondhand smoke.

Lots of people post anonymously on the internet for privacy or out of concern for their personal safety, and I’m not asking anyone to give my views credence based on who I am. Caution is never a bad idea, but may be even more warranted when posting to a site run by tobacco industry veterans.

#7 Larry Waters on 05.20.09 at 7:18 PM

Hi Citizen.

My “tobacco industry funding” is accepting advertisements from reduced harm tobacco manufacturers. I also have advertising for mini-snus refrigerators which are from white goods companies; not tobacco companies.

My reduced harm tobacco advocacy predates any advertising by two years and began as my story how Swedish Snus allowed me to finally break a 35 year cigarette addiction.

My sword also cuts both ways: I regularly castigate tobacco companies for claiming a product is reduced harm when it is not or is of inferior quality and overpriced.

Like you, I advocate a smoke-free environment. Swedish snus is a completely discreet, smoke-free alternative for cigarette smokers.

I look forward to FDA’s regulation of tobacco in general and especially establishing a Reduced Harm Category with transparency of contents, levels of TSNA’s, and production standards. Swedish Snus has been regulated as a food product by the Swedish Government since 1970. I hope FDA follows their lead.

The assumption that you were either a shill for or a staff member of a radical anti-tobacco group is based on a number of indications which you further reinforce in your second email.

Three-quarters of Americans do not smoke. If anyone has anything to fear by revealing their real name, it’s me and other pro-reduced harm tobacco advocates. You are in the tyrannical majority.

You quote specific excerpts from a 1994 brainstorming document from R.J Reynolds which you feel favor your argument.

The very fact you were able to uncover a working paper years before Reynolds introduced what they called a reduced harm cigarette and 12 years before the Camel SNUS trial indicates a significant amount of research and data mining by either you or the organization you represent.

I have a hard time believing with that level of granular sifting, you have never come across even a mention of Dr. Rodu. He is a prolific scientist and author.

It may shock you to know that he is in favor of using snus as a way for nicotine-addicted cigarette smokers to cease using all tobacco products. Smoking cessation programs using snus instead of big pharmaceuticals nicotine patches or gum are proving more effective.

I’m also offended by your total disregard for “the children” regarding Nicoline gum which is sold on retail store shelves, not even behind the counter. The likelihood of “the Children” abusing this product is extremely high. Yet you don’t seemed bothered by this at all. Big Pharmaceutical OK; Big Tobacco Evil.

It does appear that you read my post before responding to it, yet none of the facts I presented changed your mantra one iota.

There is no credible evidence of second hand smoke being deleterious to your health. As I said in my original post, no doctor in any country since tobacco was discovered has EVER signed a Death Certificate claiming Second Hand Cigarette Smoke was the cause of death. Not ONE. Yet you continue to talk about the scientific “evidence” against Second Hand Smoke.

Here’s another fact you will conveniently ignore. A London University conducted a 20 year study of French men: neither test group smoked. One group was constantly exposed to second hand smoke. The other was not. The results of the study were that there was no statistically significant difference in cancer rates between both groups.

WHO posted this study on their website. The outcry for the anti-tobacco zealots was so overwhelming that they were forced to pull the study down within 24 hours.

There are scientific studies which prove actual cigarette smoking is extremely hazardous to one’s health. That’s why I am such a strong supporter of cigarette smokers moving to true reduced harm tobacco and lowering their health risks by 98%.

Your lumping of the words “scientific proof”, “cigarette smoking” and “second hand smoke” in the same sentence is a deliberate blurring and misrepresentation of proven facts. You’re certainly not the first one to attempt it….it’s a common tool other narrow-minded anti-tobacco zealots use to compensate for lack of a rational argument.

So to summarize, when faced with facts you can’t refute, you retreat to time-worn and untrue assertions as though they were fact..with no proof of course.

You completely ignored any of the facts I presented as they were inconvenient to your argument. You simply repeated the anti-cigarette mantra once again.

Most telling are your personal motivational reasons which are “smoke-free advocacy” and “future prospects of cleaner air in public places”.

Translated that means you personally just don’t like the smell of burning cigarettes; especially if it manages to cling to your clothes or hair. Period.

I don’t blame you; since I switched from 2 packs of cigarettes a day to being completely smoke-free thanks to Swedish Snus 2 years ago, I don’t particularly like the smell of cigarette smoke either.

But cleaner air? You inhale more dangerous substances sipping your latte at an outdoor café’ from passing automobiles or sitting in rush hour traffic breathing in car exhaust in an hour than you would being around second hand smoke for 5 years.

But diesel excepted, which I can’t stand the smell of personally, auto exhaust is practically odorless. It doesn’t offend your sense of smell. And of course, you drive, so banning cars would inconvenience you personally thus not making that issue one of any great importance to you.

Denial? It’s you and your fellow travelers who are in denial…of the facts. You just spew propaganda.

That’s why I assumed you were not just a “lone CITIZEN” making a statement but an activist zealot.

Your arguments or lack there-of; your denial of the facts I presented in favor of your bumper-sticker slogans….that’s something I’ve seen all to often from elitists who don’t like the odor of cigarettes.

Feel free to respond but I’m not going to reply. I’ve laid out the facts as they exist. You refuse to acknowledge them since facts are inconvenient to your agenda. I enjoy a spirited dialog but talking to a brick wall is boring.

Larry Waters
also known as Mr. UNZ (to help your googling efforts)

#8 Citizen on 05.20.09 at 11:59 PM

The R.J. Reynolds document is from Sourcewatch’s page on secondhand smoke, the dangers of which have been well documented. I provided the links. And I have no problem with smokeless/fumeless tobacco or nicotine replacement products provided they are not marketed or sold to minors.

Cheers

#9 James on 05.21.09 at 1:21 AM

The letter by Professor Radu was commenting on an open letter to Tobacco Free Kids regarding their opposition to safe alternatives to cigarettes such as electronic cigarettes, which are almost certain to be banned as a byproduct of the tobacco bill currently under consideration in the Senate (http://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/campaign/ecig-letter-to-tobacco-free-kids.html). Electronic cigarettes in particular are not manufactured by tobacco companies and, if allowed to continue, would likely dent tobacco companies’ profits. The bill which will outlaw them is in fact supported by Philip Morris, and will remove one of the most effective alternatives to cigarettes. I can’t see that Professor Radu’s letter would be motivated by a concern for Big Tobacco.

#10 Desert Dude on 05.21.09 at 3:01 AM

It’s amazing to me that folks give credence to the tantrums of the so called citizen. A real citizen would be denouncing the true motive of the FDA regulation and not let PM, TFK and BIG Pharma legislate cigarettes. Call it what you want but all your rhetoric is just covering up the true smoke screen. If you were not truly biased or brainwashed you’d be supporting snus and the e-cig! There is an old simple expression – It’s the smoke ……!

#11 Bill Godshall on 05.21.09 at 5:56 PM

I sent the following to my e-mail list yesterday.
You can watch 2 of the 3 markup sessions (the 3rd session last night mysteriously wasn’t (and still isn’t) on the HELP Cmte website. Bill

Smokefree Pennsylvania sent the following letter on S. 982 (Sen. Kennedy’s FDA tobacco bill) to Senate HELP Committee members today, along with amendment endorsements (below) to protect public health.

Please send your concerns NOW to all Senate HELP Committee members at: help_comments@help.senate.gov More contact info available below.

Yesterday’s markup session can be seen/heard at: http://help.senate.gov/Hearings/2009_05_19_E/2009_05_19_E.html
The committee will continue its markup today at 2:30PM (eastern time), which can be seen/heard at http://help.senate.gov/Hearings/2009_05_20_E/2009_05_20_E.html
– – –

Smokefree Pennsylvania
1926 Monongahela Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15218
412-351-5880
FAX 351-5881
smokefree@compuserve.com

May 20, 2009

Dear Senator

Many inaccurate and misleading claims were made about the least hazardous tobacco products (smokefree) by Senators Merkley, Brown, Harkin, Dodd and others at yesterday’s markup session, which primarily benefits the deadliest tobacco product (cigarettes) and Philip Morris’ Marlboro empire, as would enactment of S. 982 (a deal negotiated by the cigarette giant and CTFK in 2004). We urge you to support the amendments (below) because they would improve public health.

Reiterating concerns in my May 7 letter, S. 982 will cause the deaths of millions of more cigarette smokers (primarily Marlboro smokers) unless amended to truthfully inform smokers that cigarettes are 100 times deadlier than smokefree tobacco/nicotine products (including dissolvable tobacco lozenges, snus and electronic cigarettes) and to allow smokers access to these less hazardous products. Switching from cigarettes to smokefree tobacco/nicotine alternatives reduces smoker’s health risks nearly as much as quitting all tobacco/nicotine use, and millions of smokers have already sharply reduced their health risks by switching to smokefree alternatives.

Dissolvable smokefree tobacco lozenges are nearly identical to GlaxoSmithKline’s dissolvable nicotine lozenges (marketed for smoking cessation). While some Senators grandstanded yesterday against tobacco products that comprise less than 1% of the market share and/or are no longer on the market, nobody expressed concerns that GSK http://www.commitlozenge.com/Commit.aspx has been marketing nearly identical nicotine lozenges in Cappuccino, Cherry and Mint flavors.

Claims that tobacco companies still target market to youth ignores the facts that youth tobacco use has declined by 50% to 65% (depending upon product and age group) in the past decade, that the Master Settlement Agreement already prohibits tobacco companies from marketing to youth, and that all 50 states already ban tobacco sales to youth under 18. In contrast to claims that S. 982 would protect youth from tobacco marketing (and Senator Brown’s criticism of a cigarette marketed to his 19 year old daughter), S. 982 would do little to further reduce youth tobacco use primarily because it prohibits the FDA from banning tobacco marketing to high school seniors (age 18). The CBO recently estimated that H.R. 1256 (Rep. Waxman’s similar bill approved by the House) would only reduce youth smoking by 11% and adult smoking by 2% during the next DECADE.

Since 1990, Smokefree Pennsylvania has advocated policies to reduce tobacco smoke pollution indoors, increase cigarette taxes, reduce tobacco marketing to youth, preserve civil justice remedies for tobacco victims, expand smoking cessation services, and inform smokers that smokefree tobacco/nicotine products are far less hazardous alternatives to cigarettes.

Sincerely,

William T. Godshall, MPH
Executive Director

– – –

* Amendments to S. 982 (Kennedy FDA tobacco bill) endorsed by Smokefree Pennsylvania because they would benefit public health.

Amendment Purpose
Burr #1 Complete substitute – new HHS office
* Burr #2 Change “public health” standard to “reduce youth tobacco use” standard
* Burr #3 Smokeless tobacco carveout
* Burr #4 Require reductions in tobacco illness and death
* Coburn #1 Internet sales
Coburn #2 No tobacco program, unless existing FDA products are certified safe
* Coburn #3 Including Native American retailers and manufacturers
* Coburn #4 7 year hard sunset
Coburn #5 E-cigarette carveout
Coburn #6 Medical marijuana
* Coburn #7 GAO study on metrics
Coburn #8 If youth smoking increases 3 years in a row, sunset
* Coburn #9 PACT Act
* Enzi #1 Move tobacco regulation to CDC
* Enzi #2 Higher civil penalties for tobacco companies
* Enzi #3 Menthol and health disparities
* Enzi #4 Imminent hazard authority
* Enzi #5 Strike adverse event reporting and require DSMB
Enzi #6 Premium incentive for cessation
Enzi #7 Reissue 1996 rule
* Enzi #8 Indexing user fees in outyears
Enzi #9 Strike findings
* Hagan #1 To ensure that performance standards are based on achievable technology
Hagan #2 No FDA on the farm
Hagan #3 Roll your own
Hagan #4 Definition of small manufacturer
Hagan #5 Testing only in US labs
Hagan #6 Definition of characterizing flavor
Hatch #1 No effect of Act unless FDA gets sufficient funding for major functions
Hatch #2 No effect of Act unless FDA gets sufficient funding for device review
Hatch #3 No effect of Act unless FDA gets sufficient funding for biologics review
Hatch #4 No effect of Act unless FDA gets sufficient funding for the Office of Generic Drugs
Hatch #5 No effect of Act unless FDA gets sufficient funding for drug evaluation and review
Hatch #6 HHS certification for tobacco importation
* Hatch #7 Standard for reduced risk products
Hatch #8 Appropriations trigger – all FDA
Hatch #9 Appropriations trigger – food safety
* Hatch #10 Performance and financial reports
* Hatch #11 Report on impact of program on SCHIP
McCain #1 No use of military TSP as pay for
Merkley/Brown #1 Dissolvable tobacco products
* Murkowski #1 Track and trace for tobacco
Kennedy #1 No implied seal, repeat Enzi warning labels
Kennedy #2 No implied seal of approval

– – –

Phone and fax numbers for Senate HELP Cmte members, and an e-mail address to contact all members of the committee.

Senate HELP Committee Phone Fax

Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) 202-224-5465 202-224-5128
Chairman
Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) 202-224-2823 202-224-1083
Tom Harkin (D-IA) 202-224-3254 202-224-9369
Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) 202-224-4654 202-224-8858
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) 202-224-5521 202-224-2852
Patty Murray (D-WA) 202-224-2621 202-224-0238
Jack Reed (D-RI) 202-224-4642 202-224-4680
Bernie Sanders (I-VT) 202-224-5141 202-228-0776
Sherrod Brown (D-OH) 202-224-2315 202-224-6519
Robert P Casey, Jr (D-PA) 202-224-6324 202-228-0604
Kay Hagan (D-NC) 202-224-6342 202-228-2563
Jeff Merkley (D-OR) 202-224-3753 202-228-3997

Michael Enzi (R-WY) 202-224-5375 202-224-6510
Ranking Member
Judd Gregg (R-NH) 202-224-3324 202-224-4952
Lamar Alexander (R-TN) 202-224-4944 202-228-3398
Richard Burr (R-NC) 202-224-3154 202-228-2981
Johnny Isakson (R-GA) 202-224-3643 202-228-0724
John McCain (R-AZ) 202-224-2235 202-228-2862
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) 202-224-6665 202-224-5301
Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) 202-224-5251 202-224-6331
Pat Roberts (R-KS) 202-224-4774 202-224-3514
Tom Coburn (R-OK) 202-224-5754 202-224-6008

To send an e-mail to all members help_comments@help.senate.gov

#12 Bill Godshall on 05.21.09 at 5:57 PM

I sent the following to my e-mail list this morning. Bill

The US Senate HELP Committee approved S. 982 last night by a vote of 15-8.

The committee’s final passage vote was largely along party lines, with 12 of 13 Democratic Senators voting yes (Hagan voted no), and 7 of 10 Republican Senators voting no (Gregg, McCain and Murkowski voted yes). The same 12 Democrats (of the 23 member committee) voted NO to all amendments by Republicans. During most of the two day markup session, a quorum (12) of the committee wasn’t present (and many votes on amendments occurred by proxy).

S. 982 includes the provisions of H.R. 1256 (sponsored by Waxman and approved by the House) and includes amendments that were approved by the Senate HELP Committee in 2007, most notably Sen. Enzi’s amendment to require color-graphic warning labels covering 50% of all cigarette packages. Smokefree Pennsylvania was the only health organization to advocate that critically important public health amendment in 2007, while CTFK, ACS, AHA, ALA not only opposed the amendment, but also claimed that it was a poison pill trojan horse intented to sabotage the legislation.

The HELP Committee approved just one amendment to S. 982, a nonsubstantive one by Sens. Merkley and Brown for a report on dissolvable tobacco products. The amendment’s real intent was to poison and preempt passage of (and any objective discussion about) responsible tobacco harm reduction amendments (filed by Senate Republicans) that can significantly reduce cigarette consumpiton and save the lives of millions of smokers.

By repeatedly referring to Camel Orbs as “candy” and by falsely accusing Reynolds of target marketing them to youth (which if true, would be actionable violations of both the MSA and state minimum age sales laws), Senators Merkley, Brown, Harkin, Dodd and other Senate Democrats went over-the-top to protect to Philip Morris’ Marlboro’s lethal cigarette empire from harm reduction market competition by Reynolds’ far less hazarous smokefree alternatives.

At least 10,000 times more youth smoke Marlboro cigarettes than use Camel’s smokefree and spitfree tobacco products (which are similar to Commit nicotine lozenges), while cigarettes are at least 100 times more hazardous than these smokefree products.

Other amendments to S. 982 considered by the committee included Enzi 1, 2, 3, 5, 8; Hagan 1, 2, 5; Coburn 4, 5, 6, 9; and Burr 1.
The committee defeated Enzi 1, 3; Coburn 6; Burr 1; and Hagan 5, while Enzi 2, 5, 8; Hagan 1,2; and Coburn 4, 5, 9 were withdrawn for future consideration by the full Senate. Other filed amendments also can be offered for Senate consideration.

Following are a list of filed amendments to S. 982, with * indicating amendments endorsed by Smokefree Pennsylvania (because they could improve public health), and several related news stories.

Any e-mails to contact me (until further notice) should be sent to my other address: bill@smokescreen.org

Bill Godshall
Smokefree Pennsylvania
412-351-5880

– – –

* Amendments to S. 982 (Kennedy FDA tobacco bill) endorsed by Smokefree Pennsylvania because they would benefit public health.

Amendment Purpose
Burr #1 Complete substitute – new HHS office
* Burr #2 Change “public health” standard to “reduce youth tobacco use” standard
* Burr #3 Smokeless tobacco carveout
* Burr #4 Require reductions in tobacco illness and death
* Coburn #1 Internet sales
Coburn #2 No tobacco program, unless existing FDA products are certified safe
* Coburn #3 Including Native American retailers and manufacturers
* Coburn #4 7 year hard sunset
Coburn #5 E-cigarette carveout
Coburn #6 Medical marijuana
* Coburn #7 GAO study on metrics
Coburn #8 If youth smoking increases 3 years in a row, sunset
* Coburn #9 PACT Act
* Enzi #1 Move tobacco regulation to CDC
* Enzi #2 Higher civil penalties for tobacco companies
* Enzi #3 Menthol and health disparities
* Enzi #4 Imminent hazard authority
* Enzi #5 Strike adverse event reporting and require DSMB
Enzi #6 Premium incentive for cessation
Enzi #7 Reissue 1996 rule
* Enzi #8 Indexing user fees in outyears
Enzi #9 Strike findings
* Hagan #1 To ensure that performance standards are based on achievable technology
Hagan #2 No FDA on the farm
Hagan #3 Roll your own
Hagan #4 Definition of small manufacturer
Hagan #5 Testing only in US labs
Hagan #6 Definition of characterizing flavor
Hatch #1 No effect of Act unless FDA gets sufficient funding for major functions
Hatch #2 No effect of Act unless FDA gets sufficient funding for device review
Hatch #3 No effect of Act unless FDA gets sufficient funding for biologics review
Hatch #4 No effect of Act unless FDA gets sufficient funding for the Office of Generic Drugs
Hatch #5 No effect of Act unless FDA gets sufficient funding for drug evaluation and review
Hatch #6 HHS certification for tobacco importation
* Hatch #7 Standard for reduced risk products
Hatch #8 Appropriations trigger – all FDA
Hatch #9 Appropriations trigger – food safety
* Hatch #10 Performance and financial reports
* Hatch #11 Report on impact of program on SCHIP
McCain #1 No use of military TSP as pay for
Merkley/Brown #1 Dissolvable tobacco products
* Murkowski #1 Track and trace for tobacco
Kennedy #1 No implied seal, repeat Enzi warning labels
Kennedy #2 No implied seal of approval

– – –

Brown amendment on tobacco mints included in Senate bill

By Jessica Wehrman
Dayton Daily News
Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 08:50 PM
http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/ohiopolitics/entries/2009/05/19/brown_amendment_on_tobacco_min.html

A bill that would give the FDA regulatory authority over tobacco products now includes an amendment by Sen. Sherrod Brown aimed at cracking down on “tobacco candy” being marketed in Ohio and two other states.

Brown, D-Ohio, and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., introduced a provision that would require the new Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee to immediately study the public health effects of “tobacco candy” and report to the Food and Drug Administration on its findings.

Their recommendations would be hoped to give the FDA the necessary information to act promptly on the public health impact of the products, particularly risks pertaining to children.

R.J. Reynolds has been marketing “Camel Orbs” in Columbus, Portland, Ore. and in Indiana. The “Orbs,” are sold in containers resembling cell phones and are smokeless and dissolvable.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted to include the measure in its bill today and is expected to finish work on the bill in the next few days. The overall bill could be on the Senate floor within weeks.

– – –

Altria backs ban on flavored cigarettes

by Al Harris
May 19, 2009
http://www.richmondbizsense.com/2009/05/19/altria-backs-ban-on-flavored-cigarettes/

A U.S. Senate panel is considering tobacco legislation today that would ban certain cigarette flavorings including cherry, chocolate and cloves.

In what may be a surprise to some, leading tobacco product producer Altria supports the ban. The company has negotiated with anti-smoking advocates and lawmakers to reach a compromise on the bill.

The ban exempts menthol-flavored cigarettes, which account for 28 percent of all cigarettes sold in the U.S., according to the Specialty Tobacco Council. By comparison clove cigarettes account for just under one percent.

Clove-laced smokes are considered “trainer cigarettes” by the National Institute of Drug Abuse which they say lead to increased tobacco use among teens.

The House already passed a version of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act last month.

But the export of clove cigarettes is big business in Indonesia, which exports $100 million worth of the product to the U.S. each year. The country is threatening to file a trade complaint with the World Trade Organization if the U.S. passes the ban, according to Bloomberg News.

Passing the law could also jeopardize $22 billion in annual trade with the between Indonesia and the U.S.

The bill also regulates labeling of cigarette packaging and would require manufacturers to include warnings on the front and back of the package that occupy the entire top half of the panel. Among the nine accepted warnings include: “Cigarettes cause cancer”, “Smoking can kill you”, and the slightly innocuous “Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health.”

– – –

Clove Cigarettes May Prompt U.S., Indonesia Dispute (Update1)

By Mark Drajem and Lorraine Woellert
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aveqxR0xUKwA&refer=home

May 19 (Bloomberg) — A U.S. effort to discourage teenagers from smoking is running into opposition from Indonesia, whose 4 million clove farmers may lose a market.

Cloves would be banned as a cigarette flavoring, along with cherry and chocolate, under tobacco legislation a Senate panel is to consider today. Altria Group Inc., the largest U.S. tobacco company, backs the measure, which would exempt mint- flavored menthol cigarettes such as its Marlboro Smooth.

Congress would be “blatantly favoring a domestically produced product over an imported one” if it bans cloves and not menthol, Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat, Indonesias ambassador to the U.S., wrote last month to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat. Indonesia vows to take the matter to the World Trade Organization if the proposed ban becomes law.

The dispute may force lawmakers to choose between jeopardizing a $22 billion-a-year trade relationship with Indonesia or rewriting legislation that took years to negotiate among lawmakers, anti-smoking advocates such as the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and Richmond, Virginia-based Altria.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee plans to vote as soon as today on the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which would give the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco ingredients and advertising. The House passed the measure April 2, including the ban on most flavored cigarettes, which is meant to reduce temptations for children to smoke.

Trainer Cigarettes

Clove-flavored products are known as “trainer cigarettes,” and may lead to more tobacco use, a study by the National Institute of Drug Abuse found in 2006.

Cloves, native to Indonesia, are a spice taken from the dried flower buds of a tropical tree. Indonesia is the worlds largest producer of clove cigarettes, known as kreteks, exporting about $500 million worth of the product a year, according to the Indonesian ambassador.

“Tobacco in Indonesia is more about politics than business,” said Widyastuti Soerojo, head of tobacco control at Indonesia Public Health Association. Increasing taxes or banning sales in the U.S. wont affect demand or employment in the industry, she said.

About a fifth of the exports go to the U.S., and Indonesia says its cigarettes make up 99 percent of the U.S. market for the product. A ban would hurt Indonesian clove farmers and violate WTO rules, said Trade Minister Mari Pangestu.

U.S. Trade Disputes

“Its the principle of it,” she said in an interview the day before she met U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk in Washington on May 15.

A clove ban would add to a list of congressional actions that have sparked trade disputes. Lawmakers included rules requiring that certain funds in the $787 billion stimulus package passed in February be spent mainly on American-made products, prompting protests from Canada, the European Union and companies such as Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar Inc.

In a spending bill passed in March, Congress banned Mexican trucks from U.S. roads, leading Mexico to levy $2.4 billion in retaliatory tariffs. That measure also prohibited imports of chicken from China, which responded with a complaint at the WTO days later.

PT HM Sampoerna, the Indonesian unit of Philip Morris International Inc., which was spun off from Altria last year, doesnt export cigarettes to the U.S., said spokeswoman Niken Rachmad. Sampoerna is Indonesias biggest cigarette maker.

Gudang Garam

PT Gudang Garam, Indonesias second-largest cigarette maker, sold 11.3 percent of its cigarettes overseas in 2008, up from 9.7 percent a year earlier, according to the companys annual report.

Gudang Garam rose as much as 18 percent to 10,250 rupiah today, the most in five months, after Deutsche Bank AG raised its stock rating to buy from hold, citing signs of a turnaround at the company. The stock traded at 9,800 rupiah at 11:23 a.m. in Jakarta.

The tobacco bill specifies that the Food and Drug Administration could ban menthol cigarettes later if it finds them harmful.

Menthol-flavored products account for about 28 percent of all cigarettes sold in the U.S., compared with 0.09 percent for clove cigarettes, according to the Specialty Tobacco Council Inc., a trade group in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Among its members is PT Djarum, Indonesias leading clove-cigarette manufacturer.

Health Reasons

“Our industry is not seeking to escape reasonable regulation,” the groups executive director, Henry C. Roemer III, said in a statement. An outright ban is “unjustified,” he said.

A trade complaint by Indonesia would hinge on whether the U.S. can prove to the WTO that its banning clove cigarettes for health reasons and not to protect domestic producers.

Kreteks, made from a mixture of cloves, tobacco and other additives, deliver more nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar than conventional cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

“The WTO would get involved if there is a question of discrimination,” said Claude Barfield, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, a public-policy research group in Washington.

The case will depend on “whether there is anything about cloves that allows you to say this is a health and safety issue,” Barfield said. The complaint “is certainly not something you could dismiss out of hand.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Drajem in Washington at mdrajem@bloomberg.netLorraine Woellert in Washington at lwoellert@bloomberg.net.

– – –

Senate HELP Panel Begins Mark Up of Bill Placing Tobacco Under FDA Oversight

Capitol Hill Watch
Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report
May 20, 2009
http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=58527

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Tuesday began marking up a bill (S 982) that would allow FDA to regulate tobacco products, CongressDaily reports. The bill would allow FDA to place larger, color warning labels about the health risks of smoking on cigarette packs, as well as to regulate the marketing of tobacco products and advertising to children. The agency could not ban tobacco products or eliminate nicotine from cigarettes, but it could regulate their production and ban flavored cigarettes other than menthol. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said, “Over the years, this bill has been reviewed; it has been vetted; it has been debated, over and over and over again. The time has come to act.” The House in April passed its version of the bill, 298-112 (Hunt, CongressDaily, 5/20).

The committee by voice vote approved an amendment proposed by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) that would give FDA priority to review products that contain nicotine, such as candies. Committee ranking member Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) proposed two amendments, one that would have given regulatory authority over tobacco to CDC and another that would have ordered FDA to study which flavors to ban, instead of a current provision that bans specific flavors. Both amendments were defeated. Enzi said, “I think the FDA is the wrong regulator. It approves cures, not poisons.”

The only Democrat who opposed the bill was Sen. Kay Hagan (N.C.), who said the measure would harm the tobacco industry in her home state (Armstrong, CQ HealthBeat, 5/19). The panel’s other member from North Carolina, Sen. Richard Burr (R), said he would filibuster the bill. He said, “I put my fellow senators on notice: This is something that will be a much longer time on the floor than it will be in this hearing” (CongressDaily, 5/20). The committee plans to continue marking up the bill Wednesday and possibly Thursday.

The Obama administration has expressed its support for the bill (CQ HealthBeat, 5/19). FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg also has said her agency should regulate tobacco (Armstrong, CQ HealthBeat, 5/18).

– – –

US Senate Panel Approves FDA Tobacco-Regulation Measure

CNN
May 20, 2009: 07:49 PM ET
http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200905201949DOWJONESDJONLINE001048_FORTUNE5.htm

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- A bill giving the Food and Drug Administration power to regulate tobacco products won approval from a key U.S. Senate panel Wednesday, clearing the way for a full Senate vote.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved the bill by a 15-8 vote. According to Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who shepherded the bill through the committee, the Senate could take up the legislation as soon as the first week of June.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., would give the FDA limited authority to monitor smoking products. It would impose strict controls on advertising that restrict ads to black and white and stop the use of terms ” mild” and “low tar.” A similar bill passed the House last month.

Dodd expressed confidence that supporters of the bill could overcome a 60-vote threshold to avoid a filibuster in the Senate.

“I think we’ll be in fairly good shape,” Dodd said.

An amendment introduced Wednesday by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., would have replaced the bill with his own legislation. Burr’s amendment was defeated by a 13-9 vote.

Tobacco producers have a large presence in North Carolina, the home state of Burr and Democratic committee member Sen. Kay Hagen, who said Tuesday that 65, 000 jobs would be affected by the legislation.

Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) and Lorillard Inc. (LO), two leading tobacco companies, are based in North Carolina.

Burr’s alternative measure would have created a new agency within the Health and Human Services Department to regulate tobacco. Many Senate Republicans objected to giving the FDA power to regulate tobacco, saying that the agency is already hard-pressed to perform its drug-safety mission.

-By Patrick Yoest, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-3554; patrick.yoest@ dowjones.com

#13 Larry Waters on 05.22.09 at 1:26 AM

Excellent post, Bill. Nice to some responsible smoke-free advocates who appreciate the value Reduced Harm Tobacco products can play in this debate.

I especially appreciate your highlighting Big Pharma’s flavored nicotine products…which require no warning labels, no restrictions, no behind-the-counter sales security, and people are in-fact encouraged to use them by the Federal Government.

Your little reminder that sales of all tobacco charges to minors are illegal in the United States is something Congress either keeps forgetting or doesn’t take seriously.

Well done!

Larry
SnusCentral.org

#14 Bill Godshall on 05.22.09 at 12:25 PM

Thanks for the kudos Larry. Regarding NRT products (i.e. nicotine gums, lozenges, patches), the FDA approved warnings on these products cover half of the packages, mislead consumers to believe they are nearly as hazardous as cigarettes, instruct consumers to not use the products if they also use any tobacco product, to stop using the products after 12 weeks, and to not use the product (without a doctor’s permission) if they have a sodium restricted diet, high blood pressure, heart disease, a recent heart attack, diabetes, stomach ulcers, are pregnant or are under 18.

Also, the FDA hasn’t approved OTC sale of NRT products that contain more than 4mg of nicotine, hasn’t approved sales of $5-$10 daily dose NRT packages (and only permits sales of $40+ packages), and hasn’t approved NRT sales in convenience stores and other retailers that sell cigarettes.

The FDA also hasn’t approved NRT products being marketed as “less hazardous alternatives to cigarettes”
(only as smoking cessation aids), and hasn’t approved NRT products being marketed as “temporary” or “long term” substitutes for cigarettes or tobacco.

For the past year, I’ve also been championing an FDA petition to make NRT products more consumer friendly and let them more fairly compete against tobacco products in the nicotine markets. A growing number of health organizations and agencies have submitted comments in support of this petition (none have opposed it), but many anti tobacco and health groups still haven’t endorsed it, indicating that they don’t even support nicotine harm reduction (so they’ll never endorse tobacco harm reduction).

Several weeks ago, I sent the following to my e-mail list and posted in on several websites/blogs.

From: “smokefree”
To: “Bill Godshall”
Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 11:17 AM
Subject: Urge FDA to help smokers, not cigarettes

More than 14 months have passed since NY State Health Commissioner Richard Daines petitioned the FDA to:
(1) allow nicotine gum, lozenges and patches to be sold by all retailers that sell cigarettes,
(2) allow these nicotine products to be sold in less expensive daily dose units, and
(3) change warning labels on these nicotine products to truthfully inform smokers that they are far less hazardous alternatives to cigarettes.

Please urge the FDA to approve this petition NOW. Simply go to:
http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=FDA-2008-P-0116
and click on the “Add Comments” icon to the right of the first document
“State of New York Department of Health – Citizen Petition”

Unless/until the FDA can reasonably and responsibly regulate the least hazardous nicotine alternatives to cigarettes, the FDA cannot reasonably or responsibly regulate cigarettes or other tobacco products (especially when the enabling legislation, sponsored by Waxman/Kennedy, requires the FDA to protect cigarettes from market competion by far less hazardous smokefree tobacco products).

So far, the following organizations/agencies/associations (along with many
health professionals and citizens) have submitted comments urging the FDA to approve the NY State Health Commissioner’s petition. Noticably absent
from the list are the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, American Heart Association, and the national office of the American Cancer Society (all of which have urged the FDA to ban similar e-cigarette nicotine vaporizers,
and also are lobbying Congress to enact FDA tobacco regulatory legislation they negotiated and agreed to with Philip Morris in 2004).

Bill Godshall
Smokefree Pennsylvania
– – –

Organizations/agencies/associations that have urged the FDA to approve the
NY State Health Commissioner’s petition (listed chronologically)

Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence
Herkimer County Public Health
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Dutchess County Department of Health
American Medical Association
New York Chapter, American College of Physicians
New York State Public Health Association
Tobacco-Free Michigan
New York State Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program Advisory Board
Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco
Smokefree Pennsylvania
Tobacco Cessation Center of Northern New York
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
American Association of Public Health Physicians
Partnership for Prevention
Southern Adirondack Tobacco Free Coalition
National African American Tobacco Prevention Network
GlaxoSmithKline
Michigan Dept of Community Health
Public Health, Delta and Menominee Counties
Community Tobacco-Free Coalition
RESET Center of the University of Pittsburgh
Action on Smoking and Health (UK)
American Legacy Foundation
American Council on Science and Health
American Lung Association
American Cancer Society of NY/NJ
Ohio Department of Health

#15 Larry Waters on 05.22.09 at 5:33 PM

Hi Bill,

I’m in Texas, and at my local Sam’s Club, jumbo-sized boxes of 2mg and 4mg nicotine gum are stacked on a shelf in the vitamin isle.

These boxes contained absolutely (and I looked hard) warning messages, labels or stickers. To the contrary, the copy on the box extolled the virtue of the products over and over.

I’m picturing someone buying those boxes and selling the nicotine gum to kids. The gum is small: 4 or 5 pieces would easily fit in the mouth. Times 4mg, 20mg or even more could be used at a time. That’s one third nicotine’s toxicity level of 60mg….in adults. Kids? Who knows?

I’m going to post this article link on SnusCentral.org. The more who see your excellent and informative posts.

Sincerely,

Larry

#16 fedup on 05.23.09 at 3:18 PM

As I review all the highlights of the postings I unfortunately get a this very sick feeling in my stomack that Matt Meyers and his partner the cowboy at Philip Morris along with good ole Uncle Sam will just keep the killing machine going! If it has any glimmer of hope at saving lifes as a new entry into the realm of harm reduction it will have a “new” set of rules that neither traditional tobacco or pharma could operate under. I agree with a posting as to how does one not say that the new refreshing, invigorating new pharma supported products that go prime time on tv when kids are watching get away from the same rules! Simply doesn’t make sense. I mean is it not possible that a kid could use nicotine gum as a stepping stone to Copenhagen or Marlboro?

#17 Silencing of the lambs on 05.28.09 at 2:02 AM

I want to understand something that hopefully someone can clear up for me. Does the FDA regulatory bill allow for reasonable reduced harm product implementation or will it just be too cumbersome or will Philip Morris get their way and allow for none of this to take place? If someone could shed light I’d greatly appreciate it!

#18 Bill Godshall on 05.28.09 at 11:21 AM

The FDA tobacco bill bans all new and recently introduced (since Feb 2007) tobacco products (the vast majority of which are smokefree).

To get new smokefree tobacco products on the market, manufacturers must apply for (and be approved by the FDA) the product to be a:

– “substantially equivalent” product to another one aleady on the market (e.g. Reynolds is likely to apply for Camel Orbs, Strips, Sticks as substantially equivalent to Star’s Ariva and Stonewall),

– “modified risk” product, which imposes impossible hurdles for approval (as it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars and 30 years of testing before a modified risk product could be approved by the FDA).

– “reduced exposure” product, which imposes far fewer hurdles for approval than “modified risk” products, some of which may be approved by the FDA for cigarettes and/or smokefree tobacco products (depending largely upon the biases or objectivity of FDA officials and its scientific advisory board).
From a public health perspective, if the FDA approves low nitrosamine smokefree products as “reduced exposure” products, this would likely benefit harm reduction. But if any “reduced exposure” cigarettes are approved by the FDA, smokers and the public once again will be duped into believing that “reduced exposure” cigarettes are less hazardous than other cigarettes (just as occurred during the 1950’s and 60’s with filtered cigarettes, and as has occurred since the 1970’s with low-tar, lights and ultralights).

The key harm reduction problem with the FDA legislation is that it continues (as CDC, NCI and US SG have done for 2 decades) to mislead smokefree tobacco product users and the public (via warning labels) to believe that smokefree products are just as hazardous as cigarettes, it doesn’t require the FDA to truthfully inform smokers (or the public) that smokefree tobacco products are far less hazardous alternatives, and it prohibits tobacco to cigarettes from truthfully informing smokers that smokefree products are less hazardous alternatives to cigarettes.

That’s why it should be called the Marlboro Monopoly Act.

#19 Michael J. McFadden on 05.29.09 at 5:05 PM

Larry Waters, Bill Godshall and others here have made some excellent points, but I’d like to point something out that’s fundamental and which I feel is widely misunderstood. Mr Waters said:

“But at least they won’t have to deal with the smell of cigarettes which is what this has been all about in the first place.”

And I would strongly disagree. The antismoking movement has many roots and many motivations. To get a very quick idea of what I’m talking about please visit:

http://www.stahlheart.com/wispofsmoke/recovery.html

to read a one-page summary and an activist’s extension of some of the ideas in the first fifty pages of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains.”

The antismoking movement is a hydra. Concentrating too narrowly on any one aspect, motivation, group, or technique within it will result in failure as the other “legs” will simply pick up and run on by while you’re picking at the carcass of the beast you think you’ve just slain.

Michael J. McFadden
Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

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