Rrcs

A Solution For A Virtual Slaughter
A Forces Paper

Click here to return to main page RRCs: A SOLUTION FOR A VIRTUAL SLAUGHTER
May 2006
© 2006 FORCES International

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Introduction
Thehistorical context
Theproblem and the responsibilities
Thesolutions
Footnotesand bibliography
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Main site of FORCES International

Introduction

We endlessly hear that smoking kills andthat we should quit. We also hear that smoking is addictive to the point thatquitting smoking is an almost desperate attempt. Finally, we are bombarded bychilling statistics: five million deaths a year in the world, which will become10 million or so in 2025 [1] because, in spite of all antismoking campaigns, the numberof smokers continues to rise.

This short analysis does not intend toexamine the effectiveness of antismoking campaigns which, although healthauthorities keep calling for more of them, seem to be a failure, nor does itintend to examine the arguable methodology used to compute the number of deaths.Those numbers are simply indemonstrable considering the limitations ofepidemiology which, by definition, cannot establish causation. Actually, thenumber of diseases, deaths and social costs are indemonstrable since there is a huge number of factors that can confound the attribution to smoking,and also because of the ignorance of medicine about the precise causes ofdiseases such as cancer in general, lung cancer in particular, cardiovasculardiseases and so on.

Inhaledcigarette smoke contains toxic substances that can harm health. However, giventheir relatively minuscule presence, to what extent specific substancesare actually harmful is a question that science still has to solve. With thesepremises we shall proceed with the hypothesis that what the propaganda claims iscredible.

Thehistorical context

The statistical association betweensmoking and lung cancer emerged at first in epidemiological studies conduced inNazi Germany. [2] Germany was the first country to impose smokingprohibition in public places with laws and rhetoric that are undistinguishablefrom those of today. [3] Right after the war, other epidemiologists continued thework of statistical association that was started in Germany, and the firstresults emerged in the USA and in England at the beginning of the 1950s, firstthanks to Ernst Wynder and then Richard Doll.[4] In 1964, the USSurgeon General officially presented its first report on the statisticalcorrelation between smoking and cancer,[5] highlighting thatthe Report was unable to sanction that causality was scientifically established– a reality that still persists today. Furthermore, the Report made a veryimportant observation, that is, for lung cancer – or for any other disease thatis statistically associated with cigarette smoking – the risk seemedproportional to the quantity of smoked cigarettes and, consequently, to theamount of smoke inhaled.

Even neglecting the exaggerations ofpropaganda, it should be intuitive that those who smoke the equivalent of fortycigarettes a day are at a risk twice that of those who smoke twenty, that theyare in turn at risk twice of those who smoke ten and so on – and by “cigarette”here we mean the conventional cigarette that everyone knows. We also mustconsider that, under a certain threshold (that can be defined as the ability ofthe body to efficiently get rid of toxics without the phenomena of accumulationand related damage), a minimum quantity of smoke would have very littlerelevance from the toxicological point of view. It would therefore be licit toconclude that abstention does not mean zero risk and that, below acertain dosage threshold, it should be possible to smoke and have essentiallythe same results of abstention.

This was the basis upon which theconcept of “light” cigarettes came about – cigarettes that could yield a reduceddosage. This concept was responsible for the creation of an extensive researchprogram for less hazardous cigarettes. The research was done with the officialcooperation of the US National Cancer Institute and the National HeartInstitute, as well as the tobacco industry.[6] By the end ofthe 1970s the scientific and practical elements for Reduced Risk Cigarettes (RRC)– a product of the cooperation between the tobacco industry and public healthinstitutions – had been defined in the research phase, and cigarettes had beendeveloped and were ready for the final phase of production. The fundamentalprinciple was – and still is – that RRCs would have produced smoke with arelatively higher quantity of nicotine and a smaller proportion of othercomponents, through several improvements such as a smaller quantity of tobacco,and the addition of nicotine, filters, techniques to dilute the smoke, and more.

In fact, the research determined thattobacco combustion indeed creates harmful substances but, at the same time, thatnicotine not only is harmless but it is also useful to smokers’ functionality,behaviour and pleasure. Furthermore, the research found that inhaled nicotinequickly saturates the smoker’s demand, creating a feeling of satisfaction thatprevents the smoker from inhaling more. If more was inhaled a sense of nauseawould result, preventing enjoyment. In other words, the amount of smoking isreduced in relation to a greater concentration of nicotine in the smoke.

Hence the concept that the riskreduction of an RRS is a function of the tar to nicotine ratio of thesmoke – and could be measured by that criteria. For example, if cigarettesproduced smoke with twice the concentration of nicotine, the smoker would inhalehalf of the smoke volume and thus half of the harmful substances. Byprogressively reducing the tar/nicotine ratio, the volume of inhaledsmoke would be decreased, thus decreasing the risk. Considering that nicotinewas, and still is, the key reason why smokers smoke cigarettes, it was furtherspeculated that by increasing nicotine in smoke and by modifying tobacco,alongside with creating a parallel change in taste in the market (induced withmassive advertising approved by health authorities), the dosage would have beenreduced without taking away the pleasure of smoking.

From the description to this point, onecan imagine the enthusiasm that surrounded the possibility of producing RRCsthat would be enjoyed by smokers. If, in fact, the far-fetched mortality anddisease figures were real, even just halving them would have been a tremendousgain. A plan for marketing and gradual introduction was sketched: the tobaccoindustry and public health would have cooperated to promote a cigarette based onrisk reduction through a technologically sophisticated product. That was quiteconceivable; after all, this is what happens to all industrial products, fromautomobiles to appliances.

But, one dark day, it all came to anend. The RRC concept disappeared completely, together with the programme and thefinances for its development. The research groups were dismantled. The officialhealth policy changed suddenly and the approach became abolitionist. The tobaccoindustry castled on defensive positions. In a few months, the official organs ofpublic health transformed themselves into the antismoking industry we knowtoday. What happened"

First of all, one must keep in mind theprohibitionist component of American culture, the most visible manifestation ofwhich was the alcohol Prohibition of the 1920s. The spread of the antismokingproblem world-wide has occurred through the use of the US model, with itsprohibitionist baggage, and its tendency to reinforce, rather than solve, theproblems it takes on.

In the years immediately following theSurgeon General Report, an abolitionist pole was created in America that wantedcigarette prohibition. Initially, this pole was marginalized by a realisticpolicy that still recalled the disastrous consequences of the previousprohibition forty years earlier and that tended instead towards risk reduction –that is, towards the production of less hazardous cigarettes. As an expedient,antismokers consciously adopted the rhetoric and methodology created between1935 and 1943 in Nazi Germany for antismoking and anti-alcohol campaigns,rhetoric that had been abandoned in the 1940s in the face of problems far morereal than statistical associations between smoking and cancer.

As had been the case for alcohol, amoralistic American puritanism was at the basis of smoking abolitionism – butthis time it could be effectively disguised with epidemiology and enshrouded inscience, thus legitimizing its assumptions and intent. It goes without say thatabolitionists (later renamed “antismokers”) “hated” smoking, thus could notaccept the existence of an RRC that would have perpetuated it. At the same timeas research was being conducted on the RRCs, a parallel approach was undertakenby the pharmaceutical industry, which intended to produce “nicotine deliverydevices” in substitution for (and in competition with) cigarettes. Furthermore,the pharmaceutical industry was correctly foreseeing and planning for the timethat a demonization of cigarettes would induce hundreds of millions of people tobecome dependant on psychoactive pharmaceutical substances and – once againcorrectly – they foresaw an enormous expansion of their market. The powerof the pharmaceutical industry must be taken into account. Large corporationsare opportunistic, but while Big Tobacco is routinely demonized for exploitationof smokers, the exploitation of those same smokers by the eleven times largerpharmaceutical industry is a story that remains to be told.[7]

Finally, the spontaneous trend ofdecreasing cigarette consumption that started about twenty years earlier (thenumber of smokers had been nearly halved since the 1950s) seemed to indicatethat the elimination of cigarettes would be a relatively easy task. Robustcampaigns of hysteria and misinformation accompanied by the demonization of thetobacco industry and social “denormalization” of smoking would accelerate thetrend enormously. The promotion of the myth of nicotine addictiveness – anaddictiveness that could be uprooted with the very same nicotine that caused it-- this time produced by the pharmaceutical multinationals (!) -- would haveclosed the circle, ensuring the stampede of an enormous clientele from BigTobacco to Big Pharma. All this would be achieved with the help of the healthauthorities which, in the meantime, became official partners of thepharmaceutical multinationals at the highest levels for this purpose. Forexample, this was the case with the World Health Organization.[8]

There was only one problem left: howwere these entities to obtain the power needed for interference in citizens’intimate, daily behaviour" After all, the citizen had the absolute right ofchoice in consuming a legal product, and ultimate control of his health in thatsense. The problem was solved at the beginning of the 1980s with the brilliantinvention of the passive smoke myth. In reality, passive smoke does notrepresent a danger for the non-smoker – as is evident from the hundreds ofstudies, faulty as they are, that have failed to demonstrate danger. But passivesmoke is the essential political and psychological element for the socialde-normalization of cigarettes because:

  • It makes the smoker responsible forothers’ harm, thereby justifying both the interference of authorities inpersonal conduct and the intolerance of the non-smoker on the basis of“self-defence”. This has unleashed authentic, low-key, door-to-door guerrillawarfare among neighbours and colleagues, a new atmosphere of social conflict.

  • It provides the perfect excuse forhiding the growing intolerance -- induced ad hoc by the propaganda -- behind ahealth issue. The smoker becomes one of the biggest lightening rods, a scapegoatfor the widespread and growing social discomfort.

  • Thanks to the sense of guilt induced inthe smoker, his reaction to the elimination of his rights is neutralized. Thisis a very important element, for political reasons -- and even for reasons oflaw and order.

The most important reasons why healthauthorities and antismoking activists consciously turn the meaning of thestudies on passive smoke upside down, conning the population, is becausethis is part of the effort to instigate hatred and absolute intolerance of thehabit. Their aim is that, whenantismoking is fully integrated into the culture, it will be securely detachedfrom logic and science even if the truth emerges. But, until then, thesuppression of the information that the studies on passive smoke indicate theopposite of what the authorities say about them must be absolute.

Thus, any mention of risk reductioncigarettes utterly disappeared from the discourse on the smoking issue, not onlyfor the reasons explained, but for many others that this document is too briefto consider. At first, health authorities financed - and then integrated with -the antismoking industry, and the tobacco industry castled into the extremelydefensive positions we see today, giving in to any abuse, fraud ormisinformation about their product by the authorities. In spite of all that, weobserve a fundamental phenomenon: the consumption of cigarettes could not befurther reduced. There are a number of factors which might account for this,but here it is sufficient to mention two. The first is that, ironically, thetrend of decline was interrupted by the antismoking campaigns which, instead ofaccelerating it, stabilized the market because of complex interactions amongfactors such as personal reactions to the repressive approach, new and differentpromotional strategies from the tobacco industry, and the reality that it becameimpossible to forget the smoking issue thanks to restrictions or propaganda -from the brainwashing performed in schools to the (literally) billions of “nosmoking” signs, each of them reminding people that smoking exists. The secondreason is fundamental, but utterly ignored for reasons of political correctness:smoking is a pleasure and a relief, and many people – notwithstanding theexaggerations and misinformation we hear – choose to undertake ahypothetical risk in exchange for tangible pleasure in spite of the socialhatred instigated against them.

This reality notwithstanding, the clearpolitical choice of health authorities is this: it is better to use prohibitionand social engineering and have millions of deaths from smoking -- with the hopeof uprooting the habit completely in a probably distant future -- than it is tospare their lives with the risk reduction that the RRCs promise and accept thehabit of smoking in society. Actually, this approach is not solely reserved totobacco: over a million people are killed every year by malaria because of theworld ban on DDT, whose imagined carcinogenic effects are as well-demonstratedas those of passive smoke – that is, they are not demonstrated at all. [9]

Theproblem and the responsibilities

This irresponsible behaviour that putsobtuse politics before health can be defined as criminal without fear ofexaggeration. Given the indemonstrable quantification of tobacco mortality thatantismokers keep on defining as real, and considering that RRCs have beenavailable for over 30 years, it is easy to realize that international healthauthorities, antismoking groups and the tobacco industry are jointly responsiblefor several millions of deaths per year that could be prevented.

In fact,considering that:

  • smoking “causes” five million deaths a year as stated bythe health authorities themselves;

  • the RRCs could have been adopted since 1980 and today theywould be the only available on the market;

  • the RRCs would have reduced the risk to half or less

it follows that the antismoking “publichealth” vocation of the prohibitionist and crusading variety has beenresponsible, worldwide, for several hundreds millions of deaths in the last 30years. By the same token, the calculation can be applied proportionally to anycountry.

From the history given so far, it isclear that health authorities around the world have been aware that the toxicsfrom tobacco combustion (and not the nicotine) are responsible for statisticaldeaths. Beyond the campaigns of prohibition and fear that scream that “smokingkills”, health authorities have been extremely negligent when it comes toinforming the smoker who chooses to keep on with his habit on how to selectcigarettes that minimize his risk. Actually this is the crux of the matter.Since everybody has to be convinced that “tobacco[is] deadly in any form or disguise” – the shabby philosophy enunciatedthese days by the World Health Organization – God forbid that the consumersunderstand that some cigarettes may be less hazardous than others! God saveconsumers unions and lawyers from doing anything other than jumping on theantismoking bandwagon in the hope of lucrative lawsuits and free publicity.Finally, God forbid -- for reasons ranging from legal postures to considerationsabout market share -- that the tobacco industry ranks the hazard of cigarettes.

Thatnotwithstanding, it stands that:

  • Once again, the toxics oftobacco combustion – not the nicotine – are responsible for statistical deaths;

  • Not only nicotine is not toxic(this is the reason why it is promoted by the pharmaceutical industry with theblessing of the health authorities) but, paradoxically, it is whatsatisfiesand limits the desire to smoke, thus limits the risk.

One could argue that the production ofRRCs was primarily up to the tobacco industry; the response might be that theindustry did not move because of the health authorities. Regardless, the factstands that the health authorities are responsible for criminal negligence forNOT providing the public with the ability to rank the available cigarettes onthe tobacco/nicotine ratio. If they have the power to write “Smoking Kills”on 50% of the surface of cigarette packs they certainly have the power to imposethe printing of the T/N ratio as well.

A further indication of their awarenessof the information and their consequent negligence is seen in the currentobligation to indicate the quantity of tar and nicotine per cigarette on packs(e.g.: 10 mg Tar; 0.8 mg Nicotine). The two data in themselves do not supply anyinformation about hazardousness, which is instead supplied by their ratio (inthe example, 10 : 0.8 = 12.5). The information on the two components ascurrently presented easily misleads the consumer into the belief that the lowerthe numbers, the safer the cigarettes, which is not necessarily true. Let ussuppose that there is a cigarette with half the components, that is, 5 mg Tarand 0.4 mg Nicotine. The T/N ratio would still be 12.5. Why would we have thesame hazardousness with just half of the components" Because, due to theexiguity of the nicotine, the smoker would inhale twice as much smoke (or inhaledeeper) to obtain the saturation that determines the temporary level ofsatisfaction – a level that changes from person to person in different ages andeven from minute to minute in function of emotions.

The consumer could have an indication ofthe risk by simply reading the ratio number: the lower the number, the lower therisk – and this is a concept accessible absolutely to everybody. It goes withoutsay that, notwithstanding the current level of hysteria, the constant push ofmarket demand would be for lower and lower numbers, determining a constantdecrease in hazardousness. All suppliers respond to market demand because ofcompetition.

Let us make some real life example byrandomly taking two brands and examining some of the versions of the same brand.The numbers on tar and nicotine describe milligrams per cigarette.

Brand

Normal

Medium

Light

 

Tar

Nicotine

Ratio

Tar

Nicotine

Ratio

Tar

Nicotine

Ratio

Marlboro

10

0.8

12.5

9

0.7

12.8

9

0.6

15

 

Pall Mall

New Orleans

Los Angeles

 

Tar

Nicotine

Ratio

Tar

Nicotine

Ratio

10

0.8

12.5

8

0.7

11.4

SanFrancisco

Miami

Manhattan

Tar

Nicotine

Ratio

Tar

Nicotine

Ratio

Tar

Nicotine

Ratio

8

0.6

13

4

0.4

10

1

0.1

10

From the table one can observe that theMarlboro smoker, by simply reading the T/N ratio would be immediately aware thatthe apparently “lighter” cigarettes are those with the higher ratio – thus themost hazardous – while the “strong” ones turn out to be safer. Today the oldnomenclature of definitions such as light, extra-light, etc. are forbidden, butthe deduction that they are lighter (in taste, not in hazard) can still be madeby reading the amounts of tar and nicotine.

The Pall Mall products present aninteresting case. After the prohibition of the definitions, manufacturers wereforced to give names to the different types of cigarettes. During ourinvestigation, we asked the tobacconist to put the packs in order of “strength”,from the heaviest to the lightest. That resulted in the order of the tableabove: New Orleans, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Manhattan. Thetobacconist – as all consumers would do – simply read the numbers on the packs:the lower the numbers, the “lighter” the cigarettes were assumed to be,demonstrating once again the false perception induced by the manufacturers anddue to the current climate and health legislation. However, if we calculate theratio, we observe that the San Francisco are more hazardous than the New Orleansin spite of their smaller numbers. On the other hand, the Manhattan (which thetobacconist, a smoker himself, described as “smoking air” since they containbasically 1/10th of the tar and nicotine of the New Orleans) with a T/N ratio of10 are far from being proportionally less hazardous, notwithstanding the muchsmaller amounts of tar and nicotine (and a probably much less satisfying smokingexperience).

The labelling of cigarettes as “light”and “strong” etc, originally an idea championed by the anti-tobacco movement andseen as promoting informed choice about health, has, in our opinion, led only toa deep and subtle confusion between taste and hazard. Ironically, in lateryears, the antismoking movement has sought to place the blame for thisexclusively on the tobacco companies’ shoulders.

This situation does not have to lead tothe erroneous and summary conclusion that “all and any cigarettes are bad foryou”, and that the authorities were right when they forbade the definitions.After all, smoking brings several important benefits to health, even thoughmentioning them today has become a heresy. Yet, if the statistical methodologyused to attribute lung cancer is to be considered valid and indisputable, wemust acknowledge that the same methodology is used to determine thatsmokers suffer much less from exceedingly expensive afflictions such asAlzheimer and Parkinson diseases, ulcerative colitis and many others.[10] It is, in fact, only because of the position taken by health authoritiesthat definitions such as “light” have no meaning from the health standpoint andthat the disadvantages of smoking outweigh the advantages.

The definitions can in fact bemeaningful from a health perspective if the T/N ratio were used. Instead,governments prefer to convince smokers that the only wise choice for them isto quit smoking. The implication is that if they don’t do “the right thing”it is inevitable (perhaps even moral") that they are either exposed to a risk(one that is preventable even without abstention) and maybe die as aconsequence … perhaps rightfully punished for their “no longer sociallyacceptable” habit"[11]

The solutions

It must be noted that the responsibilityof health authorities in the statistical slaughter goes beyond what we haveobserved to this point. For example, obsessed with the paranoia of nicotineaddiction (an addiction that, even if real, would not be dangerous), Europeanauthorities have established that the maximum nicotine yield of a cigarette mustbe one milligram. In this way, authorities prevent the production of a lesshazardous cigarette through legislation. If it were legal to have just 1.5mg of nicotine in a cigarette that contains 10 mg of tar, the T/N ratio would beonly 6.66 - half of the currently predominant ratio. Theoretically it ispossible to do much better – such as obtaining 2 mg of nicotine from a cigarettethat would have only 4 mg of tar thanks to the reduction of the tobacco volumeand to its technologically advanced treatment. That would abate the ratio to 0.5 – a number that is really worth considering, as it couldtheoretically put the overwhelming majority of smokers (we dare say all) at orbelow the statistical threshold for the risk of cancer and other diseases. This would effectively eliminate the danger and would solve the perceivedproblem of public health without eliminating smoking, and thus without thesocial and economic repercussions coming from the suppression of the industryand the habit, and without the enormous costs of regulations and enforcement.In a few years the smoking problem could be solved or, atleast, hugely reduced.

Please note that this position onRRCs is not just the opinion of the writers, but it is also availed by themost prestigious health institutions, such as the US Institute OfMedicine, considered by many the highest world authority, and whose recentcalls for the production of RRCs have utterly fallen in deaf ears. [12]


We believe that the need to pass this information to the public is as pressingas the need to create a culture and a market demanding a risk reduction policyas opposed to abolitionism. We also believe that those who are responsiblefor this negligence must be made to answer for the damages inflicted on millionsof people.

We believe that the first duty of publichealth authorities is to inform citizens completely and objectively, withoutpaternalism, pedagogy and hysteria. While we reiterate that we maintain a deepscepticism about the reliability of “tobacco-related” death numbers,“attributed” diseases and “social costs” incurred for the habit, it would beillogical to deny the robust evidence of an increased statistical risk. On theother hand, it is obvious that tobacco in general and cigarettes in particularhave been a paramount cultural and social phenomenon for over a century, andhave been the casual accompaniment to the greatest literary, artistic andscientific masterpieces and technological achievements. Equally significant hasbeen their contribution to physical and emotional comfort and support tobillions of smokers in the world. These effects persist today in spite of astubborn official hostility, testifying to the aspirations to the personalfreedom of choice inherent to human nature.

Furthermore, there is a huge differencebetween smoking a cigarette and inhaling nicotine. Smoking, rather than being anaddiction, is part of the expression of the personality of the smoker. Itconsists of habits, rites, flavour, social gatherings, taste, pleasure, smell,emotional associations, creativity, personal distinction and many othercomponents that make the act of smoking a unique and irreplaceable experience.Such an experience cannot be substituted with chewing gums, inhalers, snuffs,patches – or any other substance or device that cannot even vaguely imitate theexperience, nor can it be eliminated with “vaccines” without substantialdangers. Depriving the smoker of his cigarette, in fact, is tantamount toperpetrating psychological and even physical mutilation, and then expectingwhat’s left to keep on working as a whole. The elimination of this absurdexpectation, which causes irreversible social and personal damage, is to be partof a revisited public policy on smoking as well.

Faced with such overwhelming evidence,the duty of health authorities should have been clear and unequivocal since thebeginning. An information campaign on the risks of smoking is fully reasonableand justified – but, instead of using demonization and misinformation to reachchimerical results while going on endlessly about mortality and social costs,the feasible priority should have been – and still is – that of riskreduction of the products that are on the market. That is to be done firstwith accurate information, and then by stimulating the tobacco industry toproduce RRCs to abate the statistical risk. In this way, the babbling aboutmillions of virtual deaths could be replaced with the prevention of uncountableactual deaths with products in step with the times and with the availabletechnologies.

The FORCES International Board ofDirectors

_______________________

Footnotes and bibliography

[1] See official site of the World Health Organization  [Return to text] Return to text

[2] Amongst the extensive documentation available, see “Lifestyle,health, and health promotion in Nazi Germany”, BMJ2004;329:1424-1425 (18 December), doi:10.1136/bmj.329.7480.1424, and Robert N.Proctor’s The Nazi War on Cancer, 2000, Princeton University Press. For a samplechapter of the book, click here.[Return to text] Return to text

[3] Not only were the pictorials of the same sort astoday’s (clickhere for an example), but the slogans, the spirit and the letter of the lawswere identical. Here are a couple of examples: “Popular press shall containwarnings against the dangers of smoking. Scientific research on the effects ofsmoking on health goes in parallel with the extended promotion of healthyactivities turned to reduce the prevalence of the habit.” And : “Publictransport, working environment and public buildings are the targets of campaignsfor the limitation of smoking. It is forbidden to smoke in the workplace and inpublic buildings, including governmental buildings, and in hospitals, includingretirement homes. Cigarette manufacturers are forbidden to represent smoking asa sign of manliness.” The breathtaking similarity should really make thereader consider that the repetition of this phenomenon may indeed indicate apartial return of some basic elements of Nazi ideology – although purged of theracial and religious elements. [Return to text]Return to text

[4] For more information, click here.  [Return to text]Return to text

[5] For excerpts, click here.[Return to text]Return to text

[6] Virtually Safe Cigarettes: Reviewing an OpportunityOnce Tragically Rejected. Gio Batta Gori, Health Policy Center, Bethesda,Maryland, USA, IOM Press, ISBN 1 58603 057 4[Return to text]Return to text

[7] See extensive coverage of the interest of thepharmaceutical industry by consulting the following research: “BigDrug’s Nicotine War” and “PhamaceuticalMultinationals: Buying Governments, Selling Antismoking”, both by WandaHamilton.

Furthermore,see, as examples, The Annual Report 2001 of Pharmacia Corporation and The Annual Report 2001 of Glaxo Smith Kline.

The interest ofpharmaceutical multinationals in antitobacco is not limited to smoking cessationproducts; it is also and foremost concerns antidepressants. Pushed by theexaggerated fears induced by propaganda that in turn induces social rejection,the smoker who tries to quit often encounters depression. The depression ispromptly addressed with pharmaceutical antidepressants, on which the victimtends to depend thereinafter, while he/she often goes back to smoking. Somesmoking cessation products - such as the dangerous Zyban - are actuallyantidepressants removed from the market because dangerous, but later recycled assmoking cessation products. We invite the reader to notice that the Zyban“scandal” concerning a large number of deaths in many countries was heavilyreported by the media in 2001 and 2002. The product is still available, and thehealth authorities in general have done little or nothing at all to remove itfrom the market. One can therefore assume that the damages from this drug go on,but the media are silent. “No longer news”, or complicity with antismokinginterests and ideology" The smoker is “at risk” anyway; damage and deaths cantherefore be “attributed” to smoking.[Return to text]Return to text

[8] See official site of the World Health Organization.  [Return to text]Return to text

[9] See complete and updated documentation on allpassive smoke studies by clicking here[Return to text]Return to text

[10] The documentation on the benefits of smoking isextensive. One authoritative example is that procured by Sir Richard Doll,mentioned earlier for being instrumental in establishing a statisticalcorrelation between smoking and cancer. See Report Of The Scientific Commission On Tobacco and Health, Department of Healthand Social Services Northern Ireland, The Scottish Office Department of HealthWelsh Office - Annex J, 1998. Nowadays this kind of evidence is completelyignored by health authorities in the effort to convince the public that smokinghas absolutely no redeeming qualities.  [Return to text]Return to text

[11] It must be considered at any rate that part of theproblem goes back to the fundamental inadequacy of the systems used so far todetermine the yields of tar, nicotine and other components of smoke in differentcigarettes. Those tests are still performed with standard smoking machines that“smoke” on the basis of drags of 35 cubic centimetres in volume and two secondsin duration taken at one minute interval. It is clear that no smoker smokescigarettes in that way, and it is also clear that the machines do not inhalesmoke in a way that changes from minute to minute as smokers do. It follows thatthe current methods used to graduate the yield of cigarettes must besubstantially improved before relying on a T/N ratio that is truly reflective ofreality. That, however, does not change the concept that the T/N ratiopresented to the smoker even with current measuring methods would be the majorsingle indicator of the relative dosage a smoker can extract from variouscigarettes. The reluctance of the authorities and the cigarette industryeven to establish a robust research program to perfect an accurate testingmethod for tar and nicotine yields is further evidence of criminal negligencetowards millions of citizens. [Return to text]Return to text

[12] See Clearing the Smoke: Assessing the Science Base for Tobacco Harm Reduction (2001).See also Regulation: Less Hazardous Smokes, Winter 2002-2003.  [Return to text]Return to text

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