Thursday, December 20, 2012

The future is now: Investing in Harm Reduction

 A couple of interesting articles arrived in my inbox recently:

Are Electronic Cigarette Stocks a Healthy Investment? LO, RAI, SFIO, VPCO, MFST

So-called electronic cigarette or e-cigarettes offer the tobacco industry a potential source for growth with big tobacco stocks like Lorillard Inc (NYSE: LO) and Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI) already players in the industry while small cap electronic cigarette stocks like Smokefree Innotec (PINK: SFIO), Vapor Corp (PINK: VPCO) and Medifirst Solutions (OTC: MFST) are potential acquisition targets for tobacco stocks like Altria Group (NYSE: MO) (which is not yet active in the e-cig space) or as players in their own right. After all, electronic cigarettes, which are nicotine-infused, battery-heated tubes that create vapor rather than smoke, could go from being a $300 million industry right now to become a $1 billion industry in the next three years. April 2012, Lorillard Inc acquired blu eCigs, a leading electronic cigarette company in the US, for $135 million and the move marked big tobacco’s first foray into the industry. 

Reynolds American Inc., the second-biggest US tobacco maker, has also developed a “digital cigarette” using computer chips to replicate smoking a cigarette.


80% of RAI’s resources are still in the combustible tobacco space, 90% of its organizational resources focus on combustibles and 90% of the R&D budget is still centered on combustibles.

...and for good reason: market demand dictates the direction of business. Thus, two things stand out to me after reading this:

1) There is a demand for e-cigarettes, which are ultimately going to replace many or most NRT products that are currently on the market.

2) There is an even bigger demand that remains for combustibles, proving that analog cigarettes are going to be around for some time to come.  90+% of smokers still prefer combustibles; many or most of us smokers would be willing to switch (or at least try) reduced risk combustibles if they were to be made both satisfactory and widely available.

If e-cigarettes are fast becoming a "healthy" investment, then it is a no-brainier to conclude that there are even bigger opportunities waiting to be had in the field of harm reduction.

..and in speaking of investments, markets, and tobacco harm reduction, this also arrived in my inbox at roughly the same time as the above article about e-cigarettes:

Big Stock Alert 12/17/1222nd Century Group (XXII) 

According to SmallCap Network, 22nd Century Group is a tobacco harm reduction company very big stock potential:

When we look for Big Stocks, we want to see a company that has a competitive advantage
in a major investing wave. This wave can be created by disruptive technology, a government mandate...or fortunately for us in this case, both.

I, for one, am very much against government mandates, especially when it comes to the regulation of nicotine, Consumer demand (not the government) should take precedence over forced mandates, but I digress:

Over several years with multiple R& D partners, XXII has developed and patented, genetic engineering and plant breeding technologies that allow for the level of nicotine in the tobacco plant to be decreased or increased. The resulting tobacco is grown and processed exactly like conventional tobacco.
As I have mentioned on this blog before, I personally prefer the idea of increased nicotine and many smokers would most likely agree with me.  However, even though it may not suit my individual preference, it is also apparent that a VLN (Very Low Nicotine) cigarette may be equally as attractive to that (albeit much smaller) segment of the smoking population that may wish to eliminate/separate all or most of the nicotine from the smoking experience, much in the same way that some e-cigarette users choose zero-nicotine cartridges for e-cigarettes. Ultimately, we smokers have varying wants and needs and XXII appears to take this into account. I just wish that I could say the same about the FDA and the NIH.

A Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analyst published a report on Modified Risk Tobacco Products (MRTPs) highlighting the impact that it will have on the $748B annual worldwide tobacco industry.

Because XXII’s cigarettes, due to smoking behavior, reduce exposure to whole tobacco smoke, not just limited smoke toxins, the company expects their cigarette brands will be the first cigarettes to be authorized by the F.D.A .as Modified Risk Products. Why do they feel that confident? They already have a 5-year contract with the government to supply them with modified nicotine cigarettes. The U. S. Government is buying the company’s SPECTRUM cigarettes for research purposes.

Now, this is certainly interesting in the sense that the U.S. Government appears (at least on the surface) to be acknowledging that there is merit in promoting (or at least researching) tobacco harm reduction for combustible tobacco, and thus the idea of there being a dose response relationship with regards to tobacco use and mortality. However, there are some in the world of tobacco control that seem to be pushing vociferously towards the idea of a government mandate that would lower the nicotine content of all commercial cigarette brands in the U.S.:

Harvard Professor of Public Health and former member of the F.D.A. Tobacco Products
Scientific Advisory Committee (known as TPSAC), Dr. Gregory Connolly, is also publicly calling for the F.D.A. to mandate a massive reduction of nicotine
levels in cigarettes to approximately 0.3 milligrams per cigarette.

It's important to note that Dr. Connolly is a former, rather than current, member of TPSAC; this is a good thing, for to mandate such low nicotine levels for all commercial brands would surely be a grave mistake in that it would alienate many smokers (such as myself) while contributing to the continued emergence of a black market. However, this does not mean that I, as a smoker and blogger, am against the idea of VLN cigarettes; it just means that I am for freedom of choice: if this is what some smokers prefer, in addition to there being proof of reduced harm and bio-markers, then so be it. ALL forms of THR need to be explored, for we smokers are as varied in our habits and preferences as one snowflake is to the next in the middle of a January snowstorm.

What works for one, may not work for the next. The future of THR is going to take a varied approach and it appears that many are starting to take this to heart, as is expressed in this recent analysis that was published recently in the BMJ:

Tobacco harm reduction: the devil is in the deployment

The concept of harm reduction in tobacco control is exciting interest among policy makers and industry. Gerard Hastings, Marisa de Andrade, and Crawford Moodie argue that it presents public health with some challenges

The idea of tobacco harm reduction—that smokers who cannot wean themselves off nicotine should be encouraged to adopt less harmful ways of consuming it—has much to recommend it. It avoids the trap of making the excellent (complete cessation) the enemy of the good (reduced harm) and provides a way forward where otherwise there is only a cruel impasse. It also provides a clear focus on disease and premature death—rather than tobacco addiction or corporate power—and this enemy, like so many medical problems before it, will be defeated with rigorous evidence, effective medicines, and skilled treatment. 

It seems like it's taking forever, but things are changing.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Case Against a Smoke-Free America

Here is an awesome commentary by Jacob Grier of the Atlantic that I have just stumbled across in my inbox:

More generally, we must stop treating smoking as pure vice. Lost in discussions of the very real problem of how to reduce deaths from smoking is an acknowledgement that tobacco has redeeming qualities, that it can be enjoyed in moderation, and that not all forms of tobacco use are equally dangerous. We can and should educate consumers about the risks of tobacco and tax it appropriately. But we should also respect the rights of consenting adults to gather in private places and decide for themselves what to ingest into their bodies. That doesn't necessitate going back to the days of smoking on airplanes, but it does require fighting back against the extreme measures sought by today's anti-smoking movement. It requires letting smokers have a few rooms of their own and not destroying the tobacco industry with excessive taxes and regulations.

There's a funny legend about Sir Walter Raleigh, the Englishman who helped popularize pipe tobacco brought over from the New World. A servant, seeing him exhaling smoke, concluded that Raleigh was on fire and promptly doused him. Today's anti-smoking activists understand tobacco about as poorly as Raleigh's servant and have acquired some very large pails of water. Let's not allow them to extinguish something wonderful. 

Simply brilliant!!

Read on:

The Case Against a Smoke-Free America - Jacob Grier - The Atlantic

Monday, December 10, 2012

An Open Letter To Clive Bates

A recent blog post from Christopher Snowdon caught my attention the other day. It was about an open  letter to the E.U. from former director of ASH-UK Clive Bates in which he stressed the importance of tobacco harm reduction. Being that this is an issue that is of high interest to me, I took it upon myself to write my own open letter to Clive Davis by way of the comments section that followed. Unfortunately, my comment has not been published, so I will post it here:

jredheadgirl Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Clive,

Thanks to Christopher Snowdon, I have just discovered this blog. First of all, I would like to commend you on your advocacy of THR; however, as a smoker I have become concerned with the lack of attention (amongst some THR advocates) being directed towards ALL forms of THR. While I applaud your pointing out the obvious difference in risk amongst combustible and non-combustible forms of tobacco use, I do believe that tobacco users (such as myself) have the right to be informed of the varying risks that exist amongst combustible tobacco products as well. Combustible cigarettes are not all created equally. The advent (and recent proliferation) of e-cigarettes is promising for sure, and I am equally certain that the technology will improve with time. With that said, 92% of tobacco users still prefer analog cigarettes. This is a fact that cannot be ignored. Many people do not realize that there has been a resurgence towards THR in this field as well. It is my sincere hope that you, as well as that of governing bodies and actors around the world, will soon recognize ALL forms of tobacco harm reduction, one step at a time. For those of us who will continue to smoke, this is of paramount importance.

For example, there have have been many advancements in cigarette technology; here are but a few:

Brand B-The World’s Lowest Tar to Nicotine Cigarette
Researchers Create Healthier Cigarette
Designing A Safer Cigarette

It is clear to see that all cigarettes are not created equally, just as combustibles are not the same as compared to that of e-cigarettes or snus. We smokers deserve to know the truth with regards to all of our options; anything less than the whole truth will result in the continued suppression of science and progress.

Thanks for all that you do. I do hope that those with a conscience are listening.

Now consider these words from the horse's own mouth:

It is interesting to consider if the smokers’ class actions of the future might be directed at Commission officials, politicians and European health groups who conspired to deny them much safer alternatives, with full knowledge of the relative risks, addictiveness of tobacco, and plenty of scientific advice showing that they knew or should have known the harm reduction benefits of these products.

Mr. Bates is of course, referring to e-cigarettes (an invention that shows much promise) and smokeless tobacco exclusively, he conveniently ignores a simple fact: most of us still (and will) continue to use combustibles well into the foreseeable future. Ignoring the largest demographic that makes up the tobacco using population, is to say: quit or die. Same song, same dance as before. If we are to really see a dent in tobacco related morbidity, ALL forms of tobacco use need to be taken in under the umbrella of harm reduction.

Another comment (by someone else with presumably the "right" view) has since been published. It's nice to know that we have such open-minded folks (anti-smokers) speaking on our behalf, isn't it? I am certain that those that purport to care about the health of smokers will take the 90% of us that use combustibles into account when speaking on our behalf. Yeah. Right. We're on our own folks. It's going to be a long, uphill battle, but we will get there eventually.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Place to Avoid

Many of us may want to scratch Boulder, Co. off of our places to go list, for the Boulder City Council has voted unanimously to ban outdoor smoking on the Pearl Street Mall:

Molly Winter, downtown and University Hill management division director, said the city will allow for a transition before police officers start writing tickets, which could carry fines of up to $500 for the first two offenses within two years.

A third offense in two years could result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail.

Now how utterly "progressive"! Boulder is in a state that just legalized recreational marijuana. .

Several people spoke in opposition to the ban at the meeting Tuesday night.

Ah, Democracy Schmocracy...who needs it when we have health advisory bureaucrats and lobbyists? They are, after all, the all knowing and sole arbiters of what's good for everyone; hence, why do we even need elected officials anymore when we have the Neo Do-Gooders of (Counter) Do Gooderism to guide our officials on how to vote?  Such measures are not draconian; they are necessary for the "health" of the state after all.

"It's easy to imagine someone's vacation being ruined by a $500 fine and going home and telling people, 'Don't go to Boulder,'"....

Gee, you think? I guess they're just assuming that they'll make up for the loss in tourism dollars by investing in pot tourism; but that's assuming that there will be no tobacco smokers amongst the marijuana enthusiasts. In trying to understand the utter insanity of this measure, it dawns on me that maybe this is merely a reaction to keep all smokers away, now that there is yet one more smoking demographic to deal with out in the open.

One thing is for certain: this has nothing to do with health.

Boulder Bans Smoking On Pearl Street Mall

Monday, December 3, 2012

Brand B-The World's Lowest Tar to Nicotine Cigarette

For those of us who missed the news (I did)  last September, here is the latest news on Brand B, which I mentioned on this blog back in April 2012 :

CLARENCE, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–22nd Century Group, Inc. (OTCBB: XXII), a company that has developed groundbreaking technology for tobacco harm reduction and smoking cessation products, announced that Dr. Michael Moynihan, Vice President of Research & Development, will present a poster today on the company’s proprietary BRAND B cigarette at the 66th Tobacco Science Research Conference (TSRC) being held in Concord, North Carolina
Slated for submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a modified risk candidate, BRAND B is reportedly the world’s lowest tar-to-nicotine ratio cigarette. Unlike low tar/low-nicotine brands on the market (previously labeled “light” or “ultra-light” before these descriptors were banned in the U.S. by the Tobacco Control Act in 2010), the nicotine yield of BRAND B is not reduced.
Studies of smokers using low tar-to-nicotine (LTN) research cigarettes such as BRAND B have demonstrated that smoking behavior changes and the dose of smoke inhaled by the smoker including “tar” is significantly reduced (Russell MAH 2000). Specifically, compensatory smoking (e.g., more and/or larger puffs per cigarette) of LTN research cigarettes is greatly curtailed.
Dr. Moynihan’s poster, Effect of Smoking Low Tar-to-Nicotine Ratio Cigarettes on Smoke Exposure, explains that incorporating tobacco with a higher-than-typical nicotine content, LTN cigarettes can be made with lower yields of harmful and potentially harmful smoke constituents while maintaining nicotine yields per cigarette similar to popular full-flavor brands. As announced in April 2012, utilizing studies of exposure to smoke constituents and consumer perception, 22nd Century will submit a modified risk cigarette application for BRAND B to the FDA.
Leading U.S. brands have an average tar-to-nicotine ratio of approximately 13 – meaning that approximately 13 parts “tar” is inhaled for every part nicotine. LTN cigarettes with a tar-to-nicotine ratio of 7 or less have the potential to reduce smoke exposure by 50 percent. If smoke inhalation with LTN cigarettes is reduced by 50 percent on average, confirmed by biomarkers in exposure studies, reduced harm is expected. 22nd Century’s CEO, Joseph Pandolfino explained, “A cigarette that reduces smoke exposure by an average of 50 percent is effectively a hybrid of a zero-tar e-cigarette and a Marlboro® Gold. How much would smoking-related disease decrease in the U.S. if all the cumulative smoke inhaled by smokers were cut in half?”
Joseph Pandolfino asks a question that is hard to ignore.

A 50% reduction in exposure to carcinogenic materials is a good place to start. It may not be an e-cigarette, but for those of us committed smokers who are not attracted to e-cigarettes (or to snus, pellets, or lozenges for that matter, etc..), a 50% reduction is a hell of an improvement; therefore, it is of paramount importance that THR (Tobacco Harm Reduction), defines its objective as one that is inclusive to all of the relevant possibilities. This means that combustible cigarettes need to be a part of the overall equation when it comes to reducing the adverse health effects from smoking.

One another note, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Dr. Gio Batta Gori (of whom I have been a fan of for awhile now) appeared as a keynote speaker at last September's meeting for 22nd Century's shareholders:
Separately, one of the original proponents of LTN cigarettes, Dr. Gio Batta Gori, Director of the Health Policy Center in Bethesda, Maryland, will present a keynote address at 22nd Century Group’s annual shareholder meeting at 2:00 pm on Thursday, September 20, 2012. To be held in Clarence, New York, the annual meeting will be open to company shareholders, select guests, and the media. Dr. Gori will speak on the compelling reasons for less harmful cigarettes and their likely significance to the cigarette industry and the entire tobacco economy.
I would have liked to be there to hear what Dr. Gori had to say about Brand B. I'm certain that we will be hearing more from him on this pertinent issue, for the potential to save (and improve upon) the lives of so many smokers like myself is on the horizon.
Dr. Gori is also author of Virtually Safe Cigarettes: Reviving an Opportunity Once Tragically Rejected and a contributor to national research and prevention agendas at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, where he was deputy director of the Division of Cancer Cause and Prevention and director of the Smoking and Health Program. The latter aimed at developing reduced risk cigarettes, an effort for which Dr. Gori received the Superior Service Award of the U.S. Public Health Service.
About 22nd Century Group, Inc.
22nd Century is a plant biotechnology company whose proprietary technology allows for the level of nicotine and other nicotinic alkaloids (e.g., nornicotine, anatabine and anabasine) in the tobacco plant to be decreased or increased through genetic engineering and breeding. 22nd Century owns or is the exclusive licensee of 105 issued patents in 78 countries plus an additional 38 pending patent applications. Hercules Pharmaceuticals, LLC and Goodrich Tobacco Company, LLC are subsidiaries of 22nd Century focused on the company’s (i) prescription smoking cessation aid in development, X-22, and (ii) potential modified risk cigarettes, respectively.
For additional information, please visit:
22nd Century Press Release - September 10 2012.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Friday, November 30, 2012

One Small Victory

Thanks to Audrey Silk for posting this on Facebook via NYC CLASH-

SPRINGFIELD — Lawmakers Wednesday declined to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of a plan that would allow Cancer Treatment Centers of America to discriminate against hiring smokers.

The plan by state Sen. Dan Duffy, a Lake Barrington Republican, was approved by lawmakers earlier in the year. 

We smokers can count this as one small victory against the constant onslaught of anti-smoker venom and vitriol that is spewed at us on a daily basis. There appears to exist at least a few lawmakers with a conscience in my home state of Illinois.

In reading this article another thought comes to mind: This is not only a victory for us smokers, this is also a victory for every cancer patient that will ever (unfortunately) have to be at the mercy of this horrible disease, for at the very least they will be (hopefully) receiving the best treatment from the most accomplished doctors, some of whom may smoke or use tobacco on occasion. I know that if I, or any of my loved ones should ever need treatment for ANY disease, I'd want those with the highest level of expertise; I couldn't care less if they smoke or not.

If you or any of your loved ones should ever need medical treatment, which would you prefer in such an unfortunate situation? An incompetent doctor that doesn't smoke or the doctor with the highest accolades in his/her field of study?

Lawmakers: Cancer center can’t discriminate against smokers in hiring -

Friday, November 16, 2012

Imprisoning tobacco users in the U.S. on the horizon?

I accidentally stumbled upon this tobacco law blog today and was quite surprised to hear about a bill being proposed in the state of Massachusetts by Rep. George Peterson Jr. (R-MA 9th Worcester District):

The Massachusetts legislature is considering a bill (House Bill 1512) that would ban all tobacco products in the state.  Specifically, the bill would ban the distribution, possession or use of “any tobacco in any of its forms.”  Violations are punishable by fines, and ultimately, imprisonment

Now how is it that this story is seemingly being ignored by the mainstream media? Hello 60 Minutes, are you out there?

But, but.....: "All that we are really desire is the proliferation of non-smoking sections."

The slippery slope has done gone and slided into the dark halls of madness.

Oh, but rest assured, the government still needs our money:

Given the state’s reliance on tobacco tax revenues, the bill is not expected to progress.

"Not expected to progress." ..for now....

Massachusetts Bill Would Ban Tobacco Products — Troutman Sanders Tobacco Team

Nicotine is a controlled substance?

Names are being gathered on an on-line petition calling for the Obama administration to inform the public that nicotine is a dangerous drug with no medical value, and to re-classify it as a controlled substance.

The petition, created on November 11 and aiming for 25,000 signatures, had 13 signatures by November 16.

Who are the 13 signatories I wonder?

Some of the reasons given are quite preposterous, so much so that the whole idea is somewhat funny:

1. ‘Nicotine is a powerfully addicting drug with no medical or mental health benefit.

Um, about a billion and a half people would take issue with this statement.

Here's a good one:

3. ‘Nicotine causes irreversible brain damage in the majority of users.

Surely this statement was meant to be satirical?

5. ‘The CDC advises that the vast majority of nicotine addicts want to stop using nicotine, and cannot.

Clearly not true, for if this were the case then there wouldn't be so many people who continue to enjoy tobacco and e-cigarettes. People want to "quit" the carcinogens (nicotine is about as carcinogenic as a cup of coffee), not the pleasure that is gained from the act of smoking .  People smoke because the enjoy it, it's that simple. How common is it for people want to give up anything that they enjoy?

6. ‘There is no cure for nicotine addiction, and no treatment with a reasonable combination of safety and effectiveness.


There is no cure for the want of joy and pleasure in this life and that bothers those of us who are perpetually miserable.  Everyone must be miserable like us.

Proposed petition aims to have nicotine re-classified as controlled substance : Tobacco Reporter

Friday, November 9, 2012

The future is here

This latest review on MicroRNAs points out how they may serve as early detectors of disease; this in turn suggests that when used as biomarkers, MicroNRAs may help eradicate many forms of cancer via early (and non-invasive) detection, and not just in smokers. It's a good thing that we have tobacco scientists. While everyone else seems to be pushing evermore towards the failed ideas of prohibition and scientific McCarthyism, there appear to be some brilliant minds that have chosen to push ahead into the future instead:

A research review by scientists at British American Tobacco suggests that the regulatory functions and inherent stability of microRNAs make them suitable biomarker candidates for early detection of the molecular and genetic changes associated with smoking-related diseases (Biomarkers Med. (2012) 6(5), 671–684).

‘MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNA molecules that play key roles in regulating gene expression,’ according to a BAT press note issued yesterday. ‘They are involved in a wide range of biological processes such as cell cycle control, apoptosis and several developmental and physiological processes.

This in particular caught my attention:

‘Research shows that cigarette smoke impairs the regulatory function of a variety of miRNAs in all stages of lung cancer formation, but that resulting changes in miRNA expression only become irreversible after exposure to high doses of smoke for some time.’

I take this to mean that if caught early enough, the onset of lung cancer can be REVERSED!

I even harbor the radical notion that someday (hopefully sooner, rather than later) we  smokers will have the option of choosing between several reduced risk (with risk reductions upwards of 70-90%) cigarettes. Early detection, coupled with the proliferation and marketing of reduced risk products may well serve to save millions of lives in the near future.

Of course, there will be the usual detractors who have been shouting from the mountain tops for the last 40+ years about how total abstinence provides the only one way ticket to health. Those same people also predicted a smoke-free world by the year 2000.

It's time to start behaving like we're in the 21st century, one that is rooted in real solutions for a real world devoid of unicorns and fairies.  There will be no room for plain packaging in such a scenario, for we smokers will need to become more informed (rather than less) if we are to make better choices for our health.

BAT identifies promising biomarkers of smoking-related disease and prognosis : Tobacco Reporter

Thursday, October 25, 2012

So Much for Public Health

A report by the convention secretariat to the countries attending basically urges them to ban e-cigarettes, saying they are “products resembling cigarettes and could therefore undermine the denormalization of tobacco use…

Does anyone actually still believe that the WHO is about health? One thing is for certain though: They seem to fancy the idea of a worldwide dictatorship. Too harsh an assessment on my part? I hardly think so.

Let me get this straight: If the risk of partaking in the act of putting a nicotine stick to one's mouth is drastically or almost completely eliminated, the Neo Do Gooders of (Counter) Do Gooderism would still push for banning the act(s) of both smoking and vaping, merely due to prejudice? Apparently so.

Basically what they are saying is: 

We are not going to ALLOW the development and marketing of reduced risk tobacco products, no matter what form they may take either now or in the future. If you defy us by choosing to smoke, you deserve to DIE. Oh, and by the way, we are not going to give up on our little idea of getting our paws (ie., becoming the recipients/beneficiaries of) on that GLOBAL TOBACCO TAX that we have been greedily discussing with our member nation states around the world. Now, just how are we going to get our greedy little hands on all of that money if you tobacco harm reduction people actually succeed in eliminating all or most of the risk that's associated with smoking? Smoking must be kept as dangerous as possible to keep the cash flow going.

There is nothing democratic, moral, or "healthy" about this stance at all, which is why I believe that some of these people are actually dangerous to the very concept of freedom itself. ...and what of the nefarious effects on progress, innovation, as well as that of the very important and necessary field of science, without which the former cannot exist?

They are deathly (pun intended) afraid of "allowing" the continued proliferation of e-cigarettes into the marketplace, partially do to prejudice, but also due to the fact that they have the potential to open the door(s) for the development of a safer tobacco cigarette (..or for even that of several reduced risk cigarettes). They know that if the science is there (and it already is), that they will not be able to prevent the idea of tobacco harm reduction from going forward; therefore, they must squash, bury, and ban everything and anything that resembles the act of smoking itself, even if said product(s) pose no real threat to individual smokers or that of the public at large.

WHO takes aim at e-cigarettes - ACSH

Monday, October 22, 2012

Smoking lowers skin cancer risk

Thanks to Audrey Silk for posting this on Facebook via NYC CLASH-

Now this is interesting:

Men who had ever smoked had a significantly lower risk of melanoma (relative risk 0.72) compared to men who had never smoked, and current smokers had an even lower risk (0.52), according to the study involving 145,709 people pooled from two large national cohorts.

Cohort studies are the most reliable epidemiological studies, are they not?

Smoking lowers skin cancer risk | 6minutes

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Green Tea May Cut Smokers' Lung Cancer Risk

Don't expect to hear this from your doctor:

While Lin says the best way to avoid lung cancer is to stop smoking, green tea appears to reduce risk. "Green tea can protect them from lung cancer risk, a cup or more a day," she says.

You'll most likely hear about the first option as being the only option. I wonder what would happen if we smokers were exposed to information like this on a regular basis, coupled with the option of choosing between several reduced risk cigarettes on the free market... 

Green Tea May Cut Smokers' Lung Cancer Risk

..and here's a snippet from an article that is a bit more recent:

Active components in green tea, called polyphenols, are credited with stopping cancer in its tracks. Though some conflicting studies have arisen over the years, the majority point to green tea as an amazing health elixir.

Scientists began researching the effects of the tea when noticing the dramatically lower cancer rates in Asia, where consumption of green tea is highest.

It's obvious that diet plays a role in the development of lung cancer. Smoking is a factor, but not the only factor .

Then there's the role of genes:

Also related to green tea consumption, scientists found that a gene may play a role in the prevention of lung cancer. The greatest lung cancer prevention was seen in those people who not only drank green tea, but had a gene called IGF1.

Maybe this is one of the reasons why some smokers contract lung cancer whilst other do not?

In order to win the war against lung cancer (and cancer in general) it is critical for both the health establishment and the public at large to understand that we don't all wear the same shoe. There are many factors to consider when dealing with lung cancer and clearly, we are not all made up of the same physiological materials.

If those folks amongst us who are graced with the fortune of housing the IGF1 gene choose to smoke, why would we (err, the establishment) apply the quit or die approach to this faction of the population, when we could simply offer up the option/suggestion of daily green tea consumption?

..And what of the search for a safer cigarette for those of us who are not lucky enough to have been born with the IGF1 gene? Governments everywhere, especially here in the United States where 2/3 of tobacco monies are collected by and for the man himself, have a moral responsibility to encourage, develop, and promote the race to a safer cigarette.

I know...the only way to prevent lung cancer is to stop smoking....Whilst there is some truth to that statement, it is not the only truth, it is merely a brick from a house that has yet to be built.

Can Green Tea Aid in the Prevention of Lung Cancer?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

90 days in jail for what?

 Thanks to Silk Ziggy for posting this on Facebook via NYC Clash-

If approved, it will be one of the most draconian anti-smoking bans in the nation. The Boulder City Council is considering a ban on smoking at its Pearl Street Mall, with some very severe penalties.

DENVER, CO (Catholic Online) - The proposed ordinance would punish first-time offenders with a fine of $1,000 or 90 days in jail.
I've been to Boulder. It is a very pretty place. Unfortunately its ugly side is rearing its head. I'll make sure never to go there again. I wonder how many of their roads have been paved with smokers' money...

Smoking will land you 90 days in jail at this U.S. mall - Denver | Southern California | Catholic Online Local Edition

Friday, October 12, 2012

Blatant Discrimination on Display in Austin

Now this just proves what we've been saying all along:

Smoking bans have nothing to do with protecting the health of bystanders; they are about hate, prejudice, intolerance towards alternate lifestyles and a need to control the actions of others, plain and simple.

You Can't Smoke at ACL (Even Though the Burn Ban's Lifted) | KUT News

Friday, October 5, 2012

Senate committee examines tobacco harm reduction strategies

 “It’s time for us to examine how we can improve these figures and whether there are effective policy options we can use,” said Johnson, R-Kingfisher. “If tobacco harm reduction strategies can produce positive results without unnecessary intrusion and regulation on personal behavior, then they deserve careful consideration. We all understand that tobacco can be harmful, but if less risky forms are available, the public has a right to know the facts.”

This signifies a positive turn in the right (no pun intended) direction. If we can preserve freedom whilst simultaneously improving upon the health of the public at large (in this case, the health of smokers) shouldn't that be the path that we progress upon? There is no other sensible path, in my humble opinion; Senator Johnson seems to get that. Good for him. I hope that more of our representatives follow in his footsteps.

Oklahoma State Senate - News

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Zealots Never Sleep

 Since he took office in 2003, he’s been working for a higher cigarette tax in the state. And since 2009, he’s been pushing (you’ll pardon the pun) a bill that would make it a crime to possess nicootine without a physician’s prescription.

Oy. So much for working towards the end of the drug war and the industrial prison complex. 

OR: Lawmaker wants to criminalize cigarettes, will settle for higher tax « Watchdog News

PMI to make flu-vaccine from tobacco

Philip Morris International obtained a license from a Canadian company to manufacture a flu-vaccine derived from tobacco for eventual sale in the Chinese market, the Financial Post reported.

We human beings are capable of some truly amazing things when we are left to explore all avenues and possibilities unfettered. Who would have ever thought that there would be a flu-vaccine derived from the "evil" tobacco plant?  This is truly fascinating. Scientists are the true rock stars that will eventually set us all (ok, most of us) free from the Neo Bishops of (Counter) Do Gooderism.

I only wish that the quote above included the words "for eventual sale in all Western markets".

Politics get in the way of progress.

PMI to make flu-vaccine from tobacco

Here is the link to the Financial Post article:

Tobacco Giant Philip Morris plans plant flu vaccine for China 

“We now have a foothold in China with a very large Fortune-100 company at our side,” he said. “This is not small.”

Oh, but not everyone is happy about this new development:

The flu-vaccine deal, coming four years after Philip Morris first invested in Medicago, raised eyebrows in the Canadian anti-smoking movement Tuesday.

Even if the product is one that aims to protect people’s health, partnering with the world’s second-biggest tobacco manufacturer puts Medicago in danger of being a public-relations pawn, said Neil Collishaw of Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada.

So..."Even if the product aims to protect people's health", we should invoke our disdain towards progress because we don't "like" who is responsible for the said progress in this particular case? Public health be damned. Prejudice has trumped common sense. This is precisely the same stance that the anti-tobacco establishment takes  (and has done so for the last 40 years) when confronted with the very progressive and pragmatic idea who's time has come: Tobacco Harm Reduction. Does anyone really care what these bureaucratic schmucks say anymore?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

PE01451: Review of smoking ban - Getting Involved : Scottish Parliament

 I received this petition from Belinda Cunnison of Freedom To Choose Scotland:

Please sign and pass this along. You do not need to be a citizen of Scotland to sign-

para 4. Any effective air cleaning system removes toxins regardless of their source. There are frequent complaints that bars now smell little better than they did before the ban. Pollutants like benzene are not unique to tobacco smoke. Any room benefits from air cleaning regardless of whether smoking is allowed. A regulated indoor air quality standard can specify what levels of toxins can be present before air cleaning must be carried out.

para 5 Our case is that indoor air must reach specific standards of safety regardless of what toxins are presumed or known to persist in specific air spaces no matter their source. A regulated indoor air quality standard for non-residential accommodation and including standards for tobacco smoke was published by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN)] in 2008 (7)...
PE01451: Review of smoking ban - Getting Involved : Scottish Parliament

Please sign and pass this along. You do not need to be a citizen of Scotland to sign-

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Federal officials meet at U-M to call for tobacco-free college campuses nationwide

 “This restores the smoke-free and tobacco-free campus as the social norm in our society,” Koh said Wednesday, noting that the number of young people who have started smoking after the age of 18 has increased in the U.S.

Since when is the government's place to institute societal "norms" in a "free" society? If there are more young people taking up the habit, maybe it's because there are too many little Mussolini's everywhere trying to dictate their lifestyle preferences to what are otherwise free and autonomous citizens. Has it ever occurred to these people (our servants in public office) that dictating to folks can have the opposite effect? No, of course not.

So says Howard Koh, assisstant secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

“Let’s make smoking history.”

Right...Just like it worked with alcohol. Nationwide discrimination is the only sure thing that will result from this ludicrous idea, not to mention the brain drain that is sure to follow at a campus near you.

Federal officials meet at U-M to call for tobacco-free college campuses nationwide

'Doctors don't always know best:' Student claims he cured debilitating bowel disease by taking up smoking | Mail Online

Dr Sean Kelly, Consultant Gastroenterologist at York Hospital, has written on the link between nicotine and colitis in the British Medical Journal.
He said: 'It is a well-established medical fact that smoking protects against ulcerative colitis.

Nicotine is not such an evil substance after all. 

'Doctors don't always know best:' Student claims he cured debilitating bowel disease by taking up smoking | Mail Online

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lung cancer in non-smokers on the rise

Researchers report increasing numbers of non-smokers contracting lung cancer : Tobacco Reporter

There has been an increase in the number of non-smokers being diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer inFrance, according to a story in quoting a report by researchers at theFrenchCollegeof General Hospital Respiratory Physicians.

Little is known about risk factors that can cause lung cancer in non-smokers, though the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed earlier this year that exhaust fumes from diesel engines were a cause of the disease.

If diesel engines are indeed a cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, isn't safe to assume that these same fumes harbor the potential to cause lung cancer in at least some smokers as well?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Discriminatory Bill Shot Down by Illinois Governor...For Now..

 Thanks to Audrey Silk for posting this on Facebook via NYC CLASH-

Gov. Pat Quinn has vetoed a bill that would have allowed the Cancer Treatment Centers of America to not hire any workers who smoke or use other types of tobacco. 
Thank you Governor Quinn. There is at least one politician in my home state that values privacy. What's really alarming however, is the fact that this bill made it expeditiously through both houses of the Illinois legislature.

The bill would have allowed Cancer Treatment Centers to screen prospective employees for tobacco as a condition of employment. Other hospitals and employers would not be able to discriminate against tobacco users when making hiring decisions because their sole business isn't treating cancer patients.  

Had this bill been signed by Governor Quinn, it would have been ok to deny employment to tobacco users at such facilities that cater only to treating cancer patients. Apparently, the  notion is that tobacco use (in all of its forms) has now been declared as the sole cause of all cancers! There are no other substances that can be attributed to cancer (sarcasm intended). Had this bill passed, would this not have also set a precedent that would have enabled such institutions to refuse employment to anyone that partakes in any activity anywhere that is either loosely or directly related to cancer? Anyone with an inkling of foresight should recognize the inconsistencies of this bill under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Yes, we still have a constitution. Hallelujah!

The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from denying any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. See U.S. Const. amend. XIV. In other words, the laws of a state must treat an individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances. A violation would occur, for example, if a state prohibited an individual from entering into an employment contract because he or she was a member of a particular race. The equal protection clause is not intended to provide "equality" among individuals or classes but only "equal application" of the laws. The result, therefore, of a law is not relevant so long as there is no discrimination in its application. By denying states the ability to discriminate, the equal protection clause of the Constitution is crucial to the protection of civil rights.
Oh, but of course there are those who are hell bent on ramming their agenda through, even at the expense of our precious civil liberties:

Cancer Treatment Center executives said the company is working with legislators to reintroduce the bill in the November and December veto session.

Of course they are. Maybe they should spend more time looking for a cure for cancer.

Quinn vetoes employment bill that targeted smokers -

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Federal Judge Recognizes the Obvious

 "Because of the limited number of viewpoints on these issues, the scientific — as opposed to political — nature of those viewpoints, and the distinct responsibilities of the committee, I believe I have sufficient standards which I can evaluate the agency's discretion," Leon wrote in his order.

What an understatement.

Judge Allows Challenge of FDA Tobacco Panel to Proceed

Let's take a look at who sits on the FDA Tobacco Advisory Panel in this March 2012 press release from Audrey Silk of NYC Clash:


The ostensible point of the FDA's new congressionally-granted powers to regulate tobacco was to responsibly oversee the manufacture, marketing and distribution of tobacco in the name of harm reduction.

"But instead," says Audrey Silk, founder of Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (C.L.A.S.H.), "the panel they've chosen to accomplish this task seems deliberately selected to steer away from that mission toward another: promoting lucrative substitutions.  Far from being composed of objective and cleanly disinterested scientists,  the list of  participants  announced so far has been shown to be deeply biased against tobacco,  biased against smokers and neck-deep in pharmaceutical-rooted conflicts of interest."

Err, I don't think that we're going to see harm reduction anytime soon with these folks influencing decision makers:

¶   Jonathan Samet, the Committee's chairman, is director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control, which is funded by Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, manufacturers of nicotine replacement products and quit-smoking drugs.  An activist in the stamp-out-tobacco movement since the early 1980's, he's also pursued his studies through the generous funding of anti-tobacco lobby groups and GlaxoSmithKline.

Dr.  Neil Benowitz scores a trifecta-- financially beholden to Pfizer, GSK, and Nabi Pharmaceuticals. Most famously, Benowitz co-authored a study whose purpose was to establish a scientific basis for the use of Pfizer's Chantix as a quit-smoking aid; thereafter he continued to act as a paid consultant in promoting the drug's use.  Chantix, called "the most dangerous drug in America" in 2008 by the Institute for Safe Medication Practice, has also earned a black box from the FDA as an established cause of  "serious neuropsychiatric symptoms" including  violence,  hallucinations, seizures, uncontrolled muscular spasms,  clinical depression and completed suicide. The FAA banned its use by pilots.

Dr.  Dorothy Hatsukami is a recipient of a grant from Nabi Biopharmacueticals to develop a vaccine (NicVAX) against nicotine use.  Anti-nicotine vaccines are said to get their effect by blocking the pleasure receptors in the brain.
Dr.  Jack Henningfield, another paid consultant for GlaxoSmithKline,  additionally owns the patent on a proprietary nicotine replacement product.

Dr. Greg Connolly, a former Director of Tobacco Control for the state of Massachusetts,  has long been among the most active and ardent of the Anti-Smoking advocates in the history of such advocacy.   In his official capacity,  and with taxpayer money, he  has denigrated,  banned and "denormalized" smokers. Further, according to Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health, "Connolly is the most extreme anti-harm reduction person I've ever heard of."

¶ Most egregious where C.L.A.S.H. is concerned, Patricia Nez Henderson was chosen by FDA to "represent the public," as though the "public" were composed of,  and only composed of,  professional anti-smokers and nonsmokers.  As a member of the board of the extremist  Americans for Nonsmokers Rights-- a well-known anti-smoker group – Ms. Henderson's perspective is hardly "representative" of the public whose interests are directly affected by the actions of this committee and the “public,” it was reasonable to assume, the FDA meant when soliciting an advocate to fill that seat.  The "public," in this case, is the consumer.

Click on the link above to read this press release in its entirety.

Thank you Audrey Silk for all of your hard work!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Anti-Smoker Activist Gets Taste of His Own Medicine

 Thanks to Audrey Silk for posting this on Facebook via NYC Clash-

WOODLAND HILLS - A man who fought against secondhand smoke by spraying smokers with water as they lounged by a pool is being evicted from an apartment complex in Woodland Hills.

Every once in awhile there is justice in this world.

Woodland Hills anti-smoking activist declared a nuisance, being evicted - LA Daily News

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tobacco Bad, Pot Good in San Francisco

 SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Smoking anything other than medically-prescribed marijuana at San Francisco street fairs, festivals and other outdoor events held on city property would be banned under new legislation before the Board of Supervisors.

SF Considers Strict Outdoor Smoking Ban – Except For Medical Pot « CBS San Francisco

Oh, for the love of God...or Buddha..Things just keep getting nuttier in California by the day. Apparently, 2nd hand smoke from tobacco (in the great outdoors, mind you) is lethal, whilst 2nd hand smoke from pot is not.

Obviously, smoking anything in the great outdoors harms no one, save for the end user who chooses to imbibe. However, if the all-knowing and pious members who sit on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors are going to put forth the argument that smoking a tobacco cigarette outdoors is harmful to passersby, then perhaps they should take look at this study that was published by Science Daily back in 2007:

Marijuana Smoke Contains Higher Levels Of Certain Toxins Than Tobacco Smoke

The scientists found that ammonia levels were 20 times higher in the marijuana smoke than in the tobacco smoke, while hydrogen cyanide, nitric oxide and certain aromatic amines occurred at levels 3-5 times higher in the marijuana smoke, they say. The finding is "important information for public health and communication of the risk related to exposure to such materials," say the researchers.

Oh, that's right, I forgot: tobacco smoking bans are all about health. Yep

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Filter carbon study shows weight is key to efficiency

I have just received this new study in my inbox:
Efficiency in an activated carbon filter largely is determined by the weight of carbon rather than placement, according to a study by Filtrona Scientific Services.

Filter carbon study shows weight is key to efficiency

Here is the link to the actual study:


Monday, July 16, 2012

Links of the day

 Thanks to Matthias Clock for posting this on Facebook via NYC CLASH-

What a great idea!!

The past couple of years has seen the growth of an interesting idea: mobile cigar shops.

Small Cigar Shops Go Mobile « FineTobaccoNYC

....and a not so great idea:

The Clearwater, Florida City Council will soon consider some drastic new laws aimed at homeless people, but which could also affect the general population.
The city council has already welded shut the doors to public bathrooms, turned off access to water in public areas and discouraged donations to a soup kitchen.
Oh, where have all of the hippies gone? The compassionate folks that sit on the Clearwater, Florida City Council appear to be in direct competition with their bleeding heart brothers and sisters in San Francisco. ..Or maybe they're attempting to emulate the proud malevolence currently being directed towards smokers in Santa Monica. One thing is clear: It appears that there are some amongst us that are engaging in a race towards the bottom of the barrel of humanity, and they're doing it at lightening speed.

Clearwater, Florida May Ban Sitting on Sidewalks idea whose time has come:

Can using nicotine as a long-term substitute enhance smoking cessation over using it only as a cessation aid?

An open-label randomised pragmatic policy trial of nicotine and smokeless tobacco products for short-term cessation assistance or long-term substitution in smokers

On an individual basis, substituting cleaner forms of nicotine use for cigarettes would substantially reduce much of the health-related harms of tobacco use,
Exactly, I bet that the good folks over at the University of Queensland would be ecstatic to know that researchers at Cornell University have already developed a safer cigarette, one with the potential to reduce the carcinogenic nature of active smoking by 90%! I am sure that once made aware of this staggering breakthrough in science and public health, public health reps worldwide will be all over this latest development that has the potential to save 10s of millions of lives annually.

"You may say that I'm a dreamer......"



Sunday, July 15, 2012

F.D.A. Spies On Its Own Scientists

The intercepted e-mails revealed, for instance, that a few of the scientists under surveillance were drafting a complaint in 2010 that they planned to take to the Office of Special Counsel. A short time later, before the complaint was filed, Dr. Smith and another complaining scientist were let go and a third was suspended.
In another case, the intercepted e-mails indicated that Paul T. Hardy, another of the dissident employees, had reapplied for an F.D.A. job “and is being considered for a position.” (He did not get it.) 

 ..Pretty shocking stuff...err, not.

This is a great piece of journalism. Read on:

F.D.A. Surveillance of Scientists Spread to Outside Critics -

Sore Loser Wants "Partial" Recount of Prop 29

 Thanks to Magnetic01 for posting this on Frank Davis' blog-

A San Francisco surgeon has filed a request for a partial recount of the June 5 tobacco tax ballot initiative, which lost by less than 1 percentage point of the statewide vote.
They never quit, do they?

San Francisco surgeon seeks partial recount of anti-tobacco Prop. 29 - Los Angeles Times

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Dr. Douglass, Defender of Moderate Drinking

I have just received this commentary from Dr. Douglass in my inbox. Apparently, researchers at Oxford are putting forth the idea that even moderate alcohol consumption is unhealthy. Of course, we never saw this coming!

Dr, Douglass does not agree with this flawed hypothesis:

These teetotaler researchers claim their ridiculous new limits would save 4,500 lives a year in the U.K. alone — including 3,000 lives from cirrhosis of the liver and 2,600 lives from cancer.
Yes, I know — that adds up to more than 4,500. Either a typo, or the researchers are terrible at math. Or maybe they’re secretly drunk.

I’d say any of these things are possible.

To read the rest of Dr. Douglass' refutation, follow the link below.

New push to limit booze

Friday, July 13, 2012

Steve Martin's NYC Park Is Much Cooler Than Letterman's (VIDEO)

 Thanks to Audrey Silk and Pluseek Lin for posting this on Facebook via NYC CLASH-

In these times of stress, austerity measures, budget cuts, and overly onerous regulations (on the little guy), a good laugh can be therapeutic.


Steve Martin's NYC Park Is Much Cooler Than Letterman's (VIDEO)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chinese and Australian Patents Allowed for 22nd Century's NBB Nicotine Biosynthesis Gene - MarketWatch

 22nd Century expects the NBB gene technology to play an important role in reducing the harm caused by smoking. The company announced on April 10, 2012 that it will file applications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for two types of modified risk cigarettes in accordance with the FDA's Modified Risk Tobacco Product Applications Draft Guidance. A presentation titled, Effect of Smoking Low Tar-to-Nicotine Ratio Cigarettes on Smoke Exposure, will be given by 22nd Century Group at the 66th Tobacco Science Research Conference being held in Concord, North Carolina on September 9-12. The presentation will summarize 22nd Century's planned exposure study on one of its two modified-risk cigarette candidates.

Chinese and Australian Patents Allowed for 22nd Century's NBB Nicotine Biosynthesis Gene - MarketWatch

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

How To Stay Healthy Even If You Eat Junk, Smoke Ciggies, Skip Exercise & Booze It Up | Care2 Healthy Living

 Thanks to Audrey Silk for posting this on Facebook via NYC CLASH-

Clearly, there are many factors contributing to why one person winds up sick when another stays healthy, in spite of poor health habits. The same is true for the health nut who is doing everything “right” but still winds up sick.
So what are these factors that your doctor probably isn’t discussing with you?

 This is a great article/commentary that should put a smile on everyone's face.

Read on:

How To Stay Healthy Even If You Eat Junk, Smoke Ciggies, Skip Exercise & Booze It Up | Care2 Healthy Living

Congress Sneaks Anti-Tobacco Provision Into Transportation Bill

 A measure sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and tucked inside the bill could spell the end for hundreds of “roll-your-own” tobacco stores that have sprouted up across the nation in recent years, shop owners and tobacco experts said.
 Happy 4th of July! I'm going to go and roll a few smokes for freedom's sake.

Roll-Your-Own Tobacco Stores May Cease To Exist Under New Law

Sunday, July 1, 2012

No One Deserves To Die of Lung Cancer

 Lung cancer is the deadliest form of cancer, yet it is the least funded.

Where are our tobacco tax dollars going again?

I'm getting a bit tired of being ripped off, how about you?

4 out of 5 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed in former smokers and life long non-smokers.

It's time that we smokers and former smokers demand the funding for cancer research that we deserve (we have already paid for it). If this funding should also benefit life long non-smokers as well, who could stand to lose from the funding of lung cancer research?

There is no need for increased taxation on tobacco, only the need for oversight with regards to current tobacco taxes and MSA payments. Quite simply, we need an overhaul in the way tobacco tax dollars are allocated. Too much money has already been wasted on the pet projects of many a politician and special interest group in every nook and cranny of this land under the auspices of public health for projects as wide and varied as golf courses and balancing state budgets from NY to California. That's our money and we should reap the benefits as a result.

It's also time that we are made aware of safer cigarette alternatives that have already been developed, for it's not the act of smoking that is "bad", but the unfortunate adverse health effects that can follow the act of smoking over a long period of time. How is it that smokers are taxed into oblivion, yet lung cancer remains the least funded form of cancer? Concurrently, how is it the right of anyone to deny smokers  access to  reduced risk products in any form ? A lot of people have been stealing from us in more ways than one. Collectively, there is a  need to inform the public of what has become an institutionalized injustice so that we may bring it to an end.

Indeed, it's time to end the stigma and prejudice associated with smoking and lung cancer once and for all.

Let the fight begin!

No One Deserves To Die of Lung Cancer

Friday, June 22, 2012

Philip Morris to Introduce Lower-Risk Cigarettes by 2017 | InvestorPlace

Good news:
 Phillip Morris (NYSE:PM) is working on three cigarettes under its popular Marlboro brand that are intended to be less harmful than traditional cigarettes. A cigarette that heats tobacco instead of burning is ready for clinical testing, the company said.

Philip Morris to Introduce Lower-Risk Cigarettes by 2017 | InvestorPlace

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Meglomaniac Anti-Smoker Refuses to Show Humility Towards Centenarian Smoker

A hat tip to Pat Nurse for posting this-

Violet Phillips has just celebrated her 100th birthday and guess what? She's been a life long smoker since the age of 12. Yes, it's true: not all smokers die a premature death.

While many smokers fall ill prematurely, the life of Violet Phillips proves to us is that there is something else, some other factor, in addition to one's lifestyle choice(s) that contributes to the length (or lack of) one's life span. Maybe we should study that. Of course, instead of pondering the thought of why some people live longer than others, despite being a smoker or a non-smoker, we get this typical response from the smug, prohibitionist, anti-smoker establishment:

 Last night British Lung Foundation Scots chief Dr James Cant said: “Violet’s story is extraordinary as very few smokers live to such an old age.”

But he added: “The best birthday present she could give us is to finally quit the habit.”

Now, I'm not saying that smoking is not dangerous for many, but clearly for Violet, it is NOT. At 100 years old, why in the hell would she want to give up smoking?

Instead, it would have been nice to hear British Lung Foundation Scots chief Dr. James say:

"Gee, while we recognize the dangers of smoking, clearly some people are made up of a resistant constitution of sorts...."

Or how about:

"Maybe we could be progressive and study the stem cells of such healthy people, so that maybe we may be able to transfer these stem cells to those with a weaker constitution in the future, thus advancing the wonders of modern science."

But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, asking such questions would be blasphemy to the ears of the Neo-Do Gooders of Counter Do Gooderism. We will have no such scientific inquiry. Only prohibition is allowed; and when confronted with an elephant in the room, such as is the case with some smokers living to be 100,  we will be resolute and steadfast in maintaining our absolute ignorance of its presence.

The time for evolution and progress in the medical establishment has long been overdue. Someday modern medicine will deal with the realities of the individual, rather than the one-sized fits all approach of our current day. I dream of the day when there are safer cigarettes for those who are susceptible to smoking related diseases and I also dream of the day where we leave those who are not susceptible to smoking related disease the hell alone. Now that would be progressive.

Enjoy your smokes Violet!

Violet, 100 puts long life down to fags | The Sun |Home Scotland|Scottish News

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Gulfport attorney files lawsuit agains beach ban

 St. Petersburg attorney Andy Strickland filed a lawsuit against the City of Gulfport regarding a citation he received for smoking on the beach on April 21.

Good luck to Mr. Strickland!

Lawsuit Challenges Smoking Ban - Gulfport, FL Patch

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bloomberg: It's our job to improve your health | Times 247

 ..A message from Little Napoleon himself:

Bloomberg: It's our job to improve your health | Times 247

How did this man ever get elected?

Parts of Yosemite Deemed Hazardous

This article, although not remotely related to tobacco in any shape or form, reminds me of the current mindset that is put forth by Tobacco Control bureaucrats everywhere:
With the removal of lodging from highly problematic areas and increased awareness, risk can be reduced by up to 95 percent, Stock said. "That's a huge reduction, but it's not possible to reduce all risk in the park."
Ok, maybe the comparison to tobacco control is a bit of a stretch, for Greg Stock, a staff geologist for Yosemite, states that there actually is a way to reduce up to 95% of the risk that is posed to park visitors. This is a good thing, for if there is a way to make people safer (without coercion), then it is the right thing to do.

However, if this had been a story about a safer cigarette, it would have never even made the news in the first place, as there is no such thing as a (100%) safe cigarette (sayeth the bishops of TC) ; never mind that research has found that the risk from active smoking can be reduced by up to 90%!

No, the park, or any park for that matter, will never be 100% free of risk, but people need nature so they will always be attracted to the park's beauty. Similarly, there may never be a 100% risk free cigarette. There will always be people who smoke, just as the park will always have visitors; hence, the right thing to do would be to get behind any and all research available that supports risk reduction.

Greg Stock is not calling for the closing of the entire park, he is calling for practical measures to make the park safer. Denying millions of annual visitors entrance to the park would be an inappropriate and unwelcomed measure. The tobacco bishops of the 21st century could stand to learn a thing or two from Mr. Stock.

Rock risk forces Yosemite closures - Yahoo! News

Sunday, June 10, 2012

California Voters Reject Prop 29 for Good Reason

50.8% of California voters have decided against Prop 29, which would have raised the tax on a pack of cigarettes in the state by a $1 a pack. The vote was close, but in anti-smoker California this signifies a sea change in public opinion: People are beginning to realize that regressive taxation against a minority is wrong. Skeptics rightfully charge that this money would not have gone towards cancer research for smokers by rightfully pointing to the fiscal track record that tobacco control has already left for us to examine. The truth is that the money extorted from smokers has never gone towards cancer research (for smokers), nor has it ever gone towards the research of reduced risk tobacco products. Lung cancer continues to be amongst the deadliest of cancers, not because its trajectory is so much more deleterious in its nature as compared to that of other forms of cancer, but for lack of funds in eradicating the disease due largely to prejudice. Of all cancers, lung cancer receives the least amount of federal funding in the United States, even though smokers are singled out with the highest rates of taxation. Cigarettes are the highest taxed commodity in the United States. Furthermore, smokers pay more into the system than the cost of smoking related diseases, but yet are denied funding for the very research that we  continue to pay for many times over.

This trickery and embezzlement in the name of public health has been propelled upon the unwilling with a swift and unwavering force ever since 1998 when the Master Settlement was called into action. The Master Settlement Agreement was supposed to have been enacted for the purpose of covering the Medicaid costs of treating smokers. Instead what we have witnessed has been the outright theft perpetrated against a group that has been unable to defend itself.  For example, many government officials and bureaucrats have been borrowing against future tobacco bonds (to go into the general fund and “other” needs, such as parks and the purchase of undeveloped land) in cash strapped states such as, surprise, California. California Watch, a government watchdog group has uncovered some startling facts about California's love of tobacco money:

Rather than waiting for annual payments, the state and some local governments decided to borrow money against their anticipated future revenue. All told, they’ve issued $16 billion in bonds since 2001.

Could it be that the state of California, via Prop 29, was looking for yet another way to tax smokers into oblivion in order to cover the debt that has been incurred by reckless state bureaucrats who borrowed against future smoker money? Nah….. That would be too cynical an assumption, right?

In December, California had to dip into its reserves to cover bond payments.

They’re in debt to future tobacco bonds! How could they borrow our money to spend on other things without our permission? That is supposed to be our money! But, but…MSA money was for the treatment of sick smokers on Medicaid…Yeah, right…and pigs fly and all politicians, special interest groups and lawyers are honest; only tobacco companies lie; and as for the people most affected, well, we don’t exist.

As the state’s finances worsened, officials went back to investors.