Op-Ed: Health organizations and government ignoring smoking alternatives

Photo by Darko Skender

OPINION EDITORIAL – Is doing harm worse than allowing harm to occur?

The American Lung Association, American Cancer Society and all government health departments are willfully allowing an estimated 100,000 tobacco deaths each year to occur.  This is (done) through the discouragement of switching to reduced harm tobacco products that are proven to work.  The methods the agencies encourage only work for about seven percent of smokers. If they would promote smokeless tobacco products – such as electronic cigarettes or Swedish snus – as a harm reduction method, around 100,000 lives could be saved.

They discourage smokers from switching because they have chosen to demonize nicotine consumption due to their close affiliation and funding from the pharmaceutical industry.  Smokeless products such as snus have decades of usage statistics to prove the reduced harm of cancer and other related harms, yet they choose to demonize the product.

Electronic cigarettes have been around for nine years with only positive effects reported. Smokers need to know there are real options that work for more than seven percent of the population. We don’t need a study to prove that electronic cigarettes or smokeless tobacco are thousands of times better than inhaling tobacco smoke.

What we need is for our health agencies to willfully stop harm from occurring and take innovative measures to improve American lives.

Submitted by Arron Frazer, Utah Vapers Association

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  • Tyler July 10, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Cigarettes and liquor kill and are LEGAL; Marijuana usually calms the mind creating peace, doesn’t kill and is ILLEGAL………CORRUPT GOVERNMENT OF THE MASSES!

    • Kelli July 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      Interesting, b/c I just read this:
      “Miami ‘zombie’ attack linked to cannabis-induced psychosis – After authorities found only marijuana in Rudy Eugene’s (a.k.a. the Miami zombie) body and no evidence of bath salts, they now believe the face-eating attack may be linked to cannabis-induced psychosis.”

      But claiming that pot calms the mind is definitely a convenient excuse for you to keep smoking it.

      • Murat July 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm

        Apparently you aren’t a very discerning reader, Kelli, because if you were, you’d note that title–Miami ‘zombie’ attack linked to cannabis-induced psychosis–amounts to sloppy journalism based on the content in the article. The article does not establish a link between the attack and cannabis-induced psychosis. It merely states that some ‘authorities’ are ‘speculating’ that cannabis could have set off the face-eater, who has a history of mental illness including possibly schizophrenia. Try not to be so gullible.

        • Murat July 11, 2012 at 6:57 am

          HAHA! Really?! You know Murat, if you focused as much of your time on actually “being” right instead of just trying to “sound” right, then you might just have something. I’m not going to fault you too much though, b/c this little St George comment board is all you have. Your curmudgeonly barbs, for what they lack in accuracy and decency, at least provide some comic relief when I picture you pecking away at your keyboard, giving us whipper-snappers the “what fer”!! Now, as a reward, why don’t you treat your self to another imaginary helping of condor with your imaginary Native American friend. LOL!

          • Murat July 11, 2012 at 11:22 am

            You seem quite bitter. Kelli’s credulity was simply too much for me to bear. I had to call her out. Is there a problem?

  • Richard July 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I was lucky enough to succeed in quiting smoking some 25 years ago. Even now, it seems like a miricle, since I had tried and failed so many times to quit. Unfortunately, my wife was unable to succeed at quitting smoking, no matter what she tried. The smoking was killing her – she coughed constantly, had emphasema, and her hands and feet were always cold from the lack of oxygen due to the Carbon Monoxide in the tobacco smoke. She knew all this, and was simply unable to quit.

    Then another miracle happened. I read an ad about the e-cigarette. She sent away for it, without much hope, since nothing else had worked. Miracle of miracle, from the first time she got the e-cigarette and tried it, she put down the cigarette, and hasn’t smoked since. It has been about a year now. The change in her health was incredible and immediate. Her circulation returned, she never coughs anymore, and her health in general has improved 100%. On cigarettes she was hospitalized at least once a year with some kind of lung problem, including once she almost died from pneunomia. Since the e-cigarette, she never even goes to the doctor. It is indeed a miracle.

    For those who can’t quit smoking no matter what they do or how hard they try (and there are a LOT of people like this) the e-cig is the answer. You can find them for sale on the internet (my wife likes Kingpin.com) The e-cig uses pure nicotine dissolved in a liquid which is the same thing that is used in medical inhalers. So the ONLY “bad” thing you are getting is nicotine. You eliminate the 50,000 or so other cancer causing chemicals in tobacco smoke, and you eliminate the Carbon Monxide as well. Nicotine itself is not all that harmful – it is a stimulant, similar to caffiene.

    I was amazed when the Republician Utah legislature recently passed a law classifying e-cigs as similar to regular cigs, in terms of where they could be smoked. This was a totally unnecessary law that did not protect the public at all, and in fact HARMED the public by reducing incentives to quit smoking. The government, state and Federal, should do everything in their power to encourage smokers to switch to e-cigs. This would save a huge number of lives. I thought the Republician party was in favor of free enterprise and individual choice! Apparantly not.

    As a bonus, getting your nicotine by way of e-cigs costs about 1/3 of what it costs to buy and smoke the smelly and dangerous cigarette!

  • Allison July 11, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Richard, that is awesome about your wife! I wish her continued good health 🙂

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