Washington Times columnist and editor Drew Johnson joins The Heartland Institute’s Budget and Tax News managing editor Jesse Hathaway to talk about the World Health Organization’s (WHO) “Article 6,” a proposed global tax aimed at making tobacco products prohibitively expensive.
As noted previously (here), Drs. Karl Fagerström and Tom Eissenberg have described a continuum of dependence among tobacco and nicotine products. They concluded that cigarettes are the most dependence-producing (addictive) product and that smokeless tobacco is intermediate, evidenced by clinical trials showing that quitting cigarette smoking is more difficult than quitting ST.
As early as 2004, various medical journals published articles claiming that small-community smoking bans resulted in nearly immediate reductions in heart disease. For example, the high-profile BMJ reported that hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) declined 40%, from 40 to 24, in Helena, Montana, after implementation of a smoke-free ordinance (here). Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, reported that AMI admissions dropped 27% “within months” in Pueblo, Colorado (here). Similar reports came from Bowling Green, Ohio (here), Monroe County, Indiana (here) and beyond.
In their war against e-cigarettes, government officials often claim that the devices are a gateway to smoking. CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden asserted (here) that “…many kids are starting out with e-cigarettes and then going on to smoke conventional cigarettes.” The National Cancer Institute last March promoted (here) Dr. Stanton Glantz’s tortured analysis of youth e-cigarette use (discussed here and here). While his data failed to support a gateway effect, his employer, the University of California San Francisco, made the claim anyway (here).
Swedish researchers from several institutions document that snus use is not associated with atrial fibrillation (commonly known as AFib), the most common heart arrhythmia (irregular timing of the heart beat) and a risk factor for stroke (abstract here). The same group previously reported that snus use conferred no significant risk for heart attack (discussed here) and stroke (here).
Rates of smoking and use of other tobacco products among teens are so low that they no longer provide a valid basis for the draconian anti-tobacco policy prescriptions favored by the FDA and CDC.
Nicotine can be detected in a chamber after releasing vapor directly from an e-cigarette, according to a report in Nicotine and Tobacco Research (abstract here) by Roswell Park Cancer Institute investigators. A Carl Phillips parody of the abstract (here) convinced me to review the journal article. Clive Bates also published a scathing critique (here).
Cigarette smoking is the most harmful form of tobacco use. Alternatives to smoking that supply users with, yes, addictive, but not particularly harmful nicotine, are significantly less dangerous.
How obscene is it for a Florida jury to award $23.6 billion to the widow of a man who died of lung cancer in 1996? She sued R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company by asserting that her husband had been “fooled” into starting the smoke at age 13. Apparently he had never heard cigarettes referred to as “coffin nails”, a slang term that has been around since the last century. And how come all those patches, chewing gum, and other means to stop smoking had no effect, if used by her late husband?
For years, advocates for smoke-free alternatives, such as electronic cigarettes and other e-vapor products, have known that these products are effective at helping smokers quit or dramatically reduce their cigarette consumption.
The New England Journal of Medicine and authors of a commentary on e-cigarette use have ignored our call for correction of a substantial error regarding e-cigarette use among American schoolchildren in 2011 and 2012. Authors Amy L. Fairchild, Ronald Bayer and James Colgrove of Columbia University double-counted some users in a figure they used to illustrate data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS).
In a closer vote than expected, the Los Angeles City Council today voted not to carve-out an exception for bars in that city’s new ban on public vaping (the use of e-cigarettes, which emit smokeless vapor).
One of Sunday’s most controversial Super Bowl ads came with the message “Friends don’t let friends smoke.” Bizarrely, it’s organized anti-smokers in the public-health establishment who want the commercial banned.