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
http://jredheadgirl.blogspot.com/2012/12/brand-b-worlds-lowest-tar-to-nicotine.html
Researchers Create Healthier Cigarette
http://www.jove.com/about/press-releases/10/researchers-create-healthier-cigarette
Designing A Safer Cigarette
http://www.forbes.com/sites/donaldfrazier/2012/02/21/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.

10 comments:

  1. I'd keep an eye on the Chapman blog, JR. You probably got spamboxed because of the number of links. Yes, he's the enemy in many ways, but he seems at least to be fairly honourable (a rare beast in TCI), and I would deem it quite likely that your comment will be posted if he discovers it in amongst the spam.

    And you make a very valid point in your open letter. THR is not only about alternative systems. It is not beyond the wit of man to develop a tobacco with much lower carcinogenic levels (if indeed they are high in the first place).

    I use an e-cig sometimes, but not all the time. I just love the flavour of my rolling tobacco. I have no intention of giving that up. To be honest, I probably wouldn't be interested, personally, in a "reduced-risk" cigarette / tobacco. That, to me, would be like drinking low fat milk, eating "spread" instead of butter, drinking Diet-Coke instead of the real thing. Not my style. I love my food and drink and smokes unadulterated. As nature intended. I'm kind of old-school like that. If it knocks a few years off my life, well so be it. But I appreciate that not everyone thinks as I do, so for that reason I think reduced-risk cigarettes are a good thing, and I'd like to see them accepted.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm just thinking, J..... Shouldn't the ecig manufacturers be starting/promoting a class action now?

    Junican

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm....maybe Junican. It would/could certainly set a precedent for the rest of us.

      Delete
  4. Nisakiman,

    This is what I viewed when I posted my comment last night:

    "jredheadgirl Your comment is awaiting moderation."

    My comment was accepted, just "waiting for moderation"; hence, he would have seen my comment waiting there first thing in the morning. I hope that I am wrong and that you are right; however, I really believe that Mr. Bates is opposed to any idea of THR for combustible tobacco, so it is likely that he simply decided to ignore my comment.

    "I use an e-cig sometimes, but not all the time."

    I do too on occasion. The only one that I can tolerate is the Blu-cig, which doesn't contain propylene glycol. However, I am a (light)smoker who prefers the real thing.

    "To be honest, I probably wouldn't be interested, personally, in a "reduced-risk" cigarette / tobacco. That, to me, would be like drinking low fat milk, eating "spread" instead of butter, drinking Diet-Coke instead of the real thing."

    LOL! I respect your right to make your own free choices in life. I, on the other hand, am very interested in the concept of a reduced risk cigarette.

    "Not my style. I love my food and drink and smokes unadulterated. As nature intended. I'm kind of old-school like that. If it knocks a few years off my life, well so be it."

    Again, I can respect that. We all have our own style. Your comment reminds me of a commentary/article by Patrick Basham of the CATO Institute. I think that you would enjoy it:

    License to Smoke
    http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/license-smoke

    "But I appreciate that not everyone thinks as I do, so for that reason I think reduced-risk cigarettes are a good thing, and I'd like to see them accepted."

    Thanks for such a rational and unselfish response:-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the link JR. Yes, a good article. Basham and Luik are fairly regular contributors to http://www.spiked-online.com/ which is one of my favourite news magazines. Unlike the MSM, Spiked tend to ignore the received orthodoxy in favour of a reasoned and critical analysis. Their editorial stance is very much pro-libertarian and anti-statist.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey - sorry about this. I'm not properly organised for moderating... most things go through unmoderated, but the spam filter took exception to the links in yours - definitely not editorial pique. Anyway, enough excuses... it's a good comment on a tricky subject, and something I'd want to respond to.

    Thanks for posting...

    Clive

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Clive. I know and realize that it's a tricky subject, but it is an important one that deserves recognition. I look forward to reading your response:-)

      Delete
  7. As well as belatedly approving the comment (sorry for the delay), I've also responded to it:
    here.

    ReplyDelete

There was an error in this gadget