One ban deserves another….

When the FDA banned flavored cigarettes in 2009, an action that resulted in quite a bit of press and plaudits but affected a negligible portion of the tobacco market, one wonders given the lack of any real evidence supporting that action, if it was simply to leverage more substantial actions.

Now we see the threat of a ban on menthol which since it actually affects many smokers is generating some resistance. Unlike ‘fruity” cigarettes which even most smokers did not know existed, menthol is huge. (I am sure the shadowy types invested in the black market are crossing their fingers hoping to see the ban happen.)

But even if the flavored cigarette ban seemed like a lot of ado about nothing, anything the FDA publishes is interpreted as grounds for like and extended actions (such as when their laughable e-cig assay was used to support a potential e-cig ban in the Middle East).

In the first iteration, in New York City, the ban was supersized to include all flavored tobacco products. The same is currently being considered in Washington state but Utah is where the real action is.

In Utah, the ban is being considered for not only smokeless tobacco products but also e-cigarette liquid. And addition to this, only e-cigarettes that have an on/off switch will remain legal.

Apart from our obvious concerns about smokers losing access to good and safer alternatives, these red herring child scare statements, and the nonsense that adults don’t appreciate flavor (because if you argue that flavor is targeted at children you are kind of implying that), this removal of flavor (and that e-cig switch) which are presented as “reasonable” conditions are anything but. They function as de facto prohibitions. (So far the only real complaints have been that pipe tobacco is at risk; Representative Ray suggested they buy it when they are travelling in other states but wasn’t concerned “flavored tobacco is flavored tobacco”.

Vapers and snus users are much more attuned to flavor than smokers. If you look at the user boards and blogs you have a plethora of talk about flavor and experimentation. In contrast, most smoker discussions (other than cigar and pipe) center on rights more than anything. It does not really matter whether this flavor orientation is a function of the products themselves or of how users are contextualizing them but that they appear to be intrinsic to the use. Remove the flavor and you are removing what appears to be quite important to just about everybody using them.

You know they also tried this in Wisconsin but when it was suggested that state money be used to persuade local governments to support a ban, ran up against a spoilsport Representative with with common sense, who said “the state shouldn’t be paying groups to influence local governments or public opinion”.

Now I am not one for conspiracy theories but if I were I just might tie together the facts that:
1. the board of the FDA Center for Tobacco was dominated by individuals with one foot in pharmaceutical products and the other in general anti-harm reduction and
2. Utah is specifically exempting flavored nicotine replacement products from the ban (because there is no way that kids would find candy flavored nicorette appealing) and
3. there seems to be a rising demand across the country that public funds subsidize these nicotine replacement products at the same time that
4. these safer alternatives that seem to actually help people quit smoking are being systematically attacked.

No. That just can’t be right because all those good people really care about you and me and they are working day and night to make sure we don’t make the awful mistake of quitting smoking the wrong way.

-Paul L, Bergen

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5 thoughts on “One ban deserves another….

  1. And apparently they only want 5% of the smokers to be able to stop, rather than 31% or 79% or over 80%. These latter success rates are the numbers of people who reported achieving abstinence from smoking in three different surveys. The first is from the survey Dr. Siegel conducted on one particular brand. The second is from the survey conducted by the Tobacco Harm Reduction Organization, and the third was conducted by the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association.

    Only the 5% success rate is acceptable because it’s the only one that requires nicotine abstinence.

    Here is the on the abysmal success rates of NRTs when used as directed to wean down and off nicotine: Moore D, Aveyard P, Connock, M, Wang D, Fry-Smith A, Barton P: Effectiveness and safety of nicotine replacement therapy assisted reduction to stop smoking: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 338:b1024 2009

    Here are web links to the three surveys of e-cigarette consumers:
    http://www.ajpm-online.net/webfiles/images/journals/amepre/AMEPRE3013.pdf
    http://tobaccoharmreduction.org/wpapers/011v1.pdf
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/sr.aspx?sm=HrpzL8PN5cP366RWhWvCTjggiZM_2b8yQJHfwE9UXRNhE_3d

  2. With all the misleading “data” put out by the FDA and Prue Talbot and her cronies it’s a wonder anyone has been able to focus on the real information which is as CASAA knows and has proven that ecigs can and do work for a majority of those who try them.
    For two+ years I used those awful “approved” patches which only served to pull off my skin and give me rashes,never did it cut down on my consumption of cigarettes, indeed I smoked more usually.
    I wanted and needed to smoke while wearing the patch and chewing nic gum.
    Thank the Goddess that I found ecigs!

    I just cannot fathom while these folks claim to be so concerned with my well being as an adult, how is it they totally ignore my wishes as a tax paying adult to leave me to choose which method will be available for me to use when they stupidly ban the one product that has so far helped me?
    They obviously want me to smoke cigarettes which will eventually kill me right? This must be the rationale
    behind the FDA’s head saying”ecigs are no safer than tobacco cigarettes.”
    To this I say Bull Sh*t!
    I choose to vape over smoking and how dare you lie to me!
    You are concerned for my well being?
    That is the biggest lie I have heard all year.

  3. Pingback: Iowa more worried about candy than cigarettes « Tobacco Harm Reduction: News & Opinions

  4. Pingback: Now its Oregon: another shot at a ban without calling it such « Tobacco Harm Reduction: News & Opinions

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