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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.