Thursday, August 30, 2018

What happened to the war on smoking?


There was a time everyone believed smoking was safe. Then along came the Royal College of 
Physicians proclamation that it wasn’t and the war on smoking was born. What happened to the war 
on smoking and why aren’t the declining numbers of smokers being celebrated?

Between government funded (taxpayer) health departments and nonprofit health / tobacco control 
organizations, it is mind boggling the millions of dollars that are spent on tobacco control in this 
country. Where does the money come from? Some states use a small portion of the Master 
Settlement Agreement (MSA) payments.

Nonprofits also receive donations from citizens and corporations. The pharmaceutical industry often 
donates to health orientated organizations. This includes companies who manufacture everything from 
nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products, to quit smoking medications, to cancer treatments. Is
this a conflict of interest? If you make products that are supposed to help people quit smoking or 
survive cancer, what happens if everyone quits smoking?

I’m starting to wonder when fingers are going to be pointed at the pharmaceutical industry, the 
anti-tobacco groups, and our government? Why is it that NRT products and medications have such a 
low rate of success in helping smokers quit? People are told if they fail to quit smoking to keep trying 
even if it takes them 30 tries to quit.

What a merry go round of job security this makes! Pharma companies have a few success stories to 
brag about, most smokers will fail to quit and have to buy smoking cessation products many times, 
while pharma companies look like the good guys for donating to organizations that want to prevent 
people from smoking. These organizations have worked for decades to solve the problem of smoking 
related death and disease, and even though we have less smokers, we haven’t solved the problem.

There’s a new kid on the block that's helping people to quit smoking. It’s called vapor technology. A 
product that is not made by the pharmaceutical industry. This is a product that has a much higher 
success rate of helping smokers quit than traditional NRT products and cessation medications. Vaping 
is not FDA approved for quitting smoking, and even though there is no tobacco in vapor products, the 
FDA deemed it a tobacco product. 

NRT Product vs. Vapor Product

As more people quit smoking and make the switch to 95% safer vaping, tobacco companies are 
making less money. States are bringing in less tobacco taxes, and there is less money handed out in 
MSA payments. Less people are using NRTs and prescriptions to quit smoking, so the pharmaceutical 
companies are making less money. As more people quit smoking (or never start) the whole health care
industry will make less money as fewer and fewer people get smoking related illnesses or cancer. 
Fewer people with cancer means less surgeries and hospitalizations, less chemo and radiation and 
less medications - which brings us right back to the pharmaceutical industry.

Why do the nonprofits who waged war on smoking (which kills people) now wage war on nicotine 
(which doesn’t kill people)? Do they want everyone to quit smoking or just enough people to look like 
they are accomplishing something? Why is the nicotine in vapor products the focus of attention? It is 
the same nicotine that is in NRT products. Why are these organizations screaming about the dangers 
of nicotine in vapor products when the FDA says the nicotine in NRT products is safe to use for an 
unlimited amount of time? What happens to these nonprofit groups and political campaign funds if the 
pharmaceutical companies stop donating?

Maybe we need to start paying closer attention to Big Government and Big Pharma. The pharma 
industry has touted their products for years to help people quit smoking and too many smokers have 
failed to quit. Vaping is not a pharmaceutical product. Vaping is the CONSUMER solution to the 
tobacco problem. People like it and it works.

It’s starting to feel like most of you should keep smoking, because somebody needs the money. If you 
die in the process, you are just a casualty of war. And it’s not the war on smoking, it’s the war on what 
money is in whose pocket.

If you end up to be one of those casualties, may you rest in peace. I'm sorry money was more 
important than your life.

1 comment:

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