From the Publisher header
Let’s return to the “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” idiom which can appropriately be applied to anti-tobacconists who—in their zeal to ban anything to do with their despised tobacco industry—risk throwing out positive advances in the reduced risk products business. With their tobacco tax funding and Bloomberg grants, the antis aren’t stopping at encouraging smoking bans and regulations on just cigarettes, they want the same or more for anything remotely associated with tobacco, including e-cigarettes. Today, anti-tobacconists and their global program of disinformation can be seen as a main driving force standing in the way of consumers being able to obtain and consume reduced risk products.
The anti-tobacconists have been remarkably successful getting major regulations and restrictions considered and passed on cigarettes and smoking, so much so that short of banning cigarettes altogether, what’s left is minutiae. For instance, countries around the world are adopting or considering plain packaging, so now it’s just a tedious matter of regulating font sizes and typefaces and making sure the packaging itself comes in Pantone 448C, the world’s so-called “ugliest color”.
One would think that the invention of reduced risk products would be welcomed by the anti-ists. Isn’t the very core of their existence the goal of reducing exposure to smoke and smoking related diseases? But they are unsettled and unable to fully enjoy the fruitful success of their regulatory labor because of anger over not being able to get the darned cigarettes banned outright.
It’s probably true that if cigarettes were “invented” today, they would probably not be allowed. But the simple reality is that cigarettes do exist, and have existed for centuries and will continue to exist into the future. It’s simply a fact. But the “invention” of e-cigarettes and other reduced risk products gives the antis a unique opportunity to act out on their desire to outright ban something tobacco related completely.
With fingers firmly in ears trilling “la-la-la-la”, the antis drone out any information about the positive aspects of reduced risk products. “’La-la-la-la’ can’t hear you” they say to reports, studies, or advice such as the British health authority which declared e-cigarettes to be 95% (!!) less harmful than regular cigarettes. “Bravo” they say to the new FDA regulations in the US which require a time-consuming and cost-prohibitive process to launch any products not already on the market by 2007 (that would be 99% of all e-cigarettes) and that all agree only the biggest companies such as Philip Morris, BAT, and JTI have the resources to undertake. (Conspiracy theorists alert!)
Some smokers may opt to quit cold turkey, and millions do. Others choose to make the adult decision to continue smoking, and that is their right, or their mistake, or their right to make that mistake. If there is a substantially less harmful alternative to cigarette smoking which is acceptable to current smokers (not the non-starter of total and immediate abstinence), wouldn’t it be best if those 100s of millions of smokers around the world would have reduced risk products made available to them if they so choose?