March 8th, 2018

Foundation for a Smoke-Free World - the mob behaviour of tobacco control

An update from the World Conference on Tobacco or Health, Cape Town

This is an update to an earlier post about the PMI-funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW). My main argument in that post can be summarised as: >> read the full post

March 6th, 2018

Tobacco control and the tobacco industry - a failure of understanding and imagination

What about the war on disease and premature death? They just aren’t the same thing.

Tobacco control activists and academics are gathering in Cape Town for the World Conference on Tobacco or Health 2018 (#WCTOH2018).  High on the agenda is the role of the tobacco industry and how to fight it (e.g. see this session:”Breaking Big Tobacco’s Grip“).

In a guest posting below, David Sweanor provides an alternative perspective they are unlikely to hear discussed much at their conference.

>> read the full post

December 28th, 2017

Regulating e-liquid flavors - is the U.S. regulator more likely to do harm than good and how would it know?

Front line in the battle to reduce smoking or trap for teens? Does FDA even know what it is dealing with?

FDA will soon request information on proposals to make rules about what it calls ‘kid-appealing flavors’ in vaping products. Inept rule-making driven by anti-vaping activist arguments and flawed reasoning could do immense harm.  This blog is to help American comrades and other interested parties to prepare for the battle ahead.  Please leave feedback, questions, suggestions etc. in the comments

Go straight to Letter and Briefing (PDF) to FDA about this subject on the Iowa Attorney General’s website. >> read the full post

November 17th, 2017

Letter to the Foundation for a Smoke Free World about money, governance, conflicts and Philip Morris International

For some, it would be better to waste a billion dollars

Go straight to letter (PDF) or cover note and letter

Update January 2018: reply to this letter from Dr Derek Yach

So, a big tobacco company puts up $1 billion over twelve years to fund a foundation with an objective “to accelerate global efforts to reduce health impacts and deaths from smoking, with the goal of ultimately eliminating smoking worldwide“. I certainly share that goal or something like it (see my ‘endgame’ scenario), and would like to see plenty of money spent wisely on pursuing that cause.  But then there is the issue of a big tobacco company putting up the money.  Should it be dismissed as the obviously flawed work of evil-doers? Or is the opportunity too important to pass over?  >> read the full post

October 25th, 2017

FDA wants to reduce nicotine in cigarettes - what could possibly go wrong (and right)?

Some things don’t have to be used to be useful

On 28th July, FDA announced that it wants to hold a “public dialogue” about regulating to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes to “non-addictive levels”. I’ve previously written about this idea in my critique of ‘tobacco endgame’ ideas, and I was pleased to present on the subject at SRNT 2017 conference.  Generally, I’ve taken the view that the idea is crazy, unworkable, unethical and will never happen, and I have a hefty bet against it.

But now that FDA has announced it, everyone should ask: might any good come of it?  That has prompted me to reconsider my previously entirely hostile approach. So here are some updated views in a report done in collaboration with Dr Carrie Wade, Director of Harm Reduction Policy at the R Street Institute, Washington DC.

The three minute version…

>> read the full post