Wednesday, June 30, 2010

CTFK CNN Opinion Piece

This article, showing up in today's CNN Opinion section, is written by Matthew Meyers, who is the President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK).
Here's the article:

I'll take his rantings and give you my own (ok, I'm biased, and I'll admit it here, as I consider him to be one of the biggest Tobacco-haters out there, next to Banzaff at ASH) opinions.

The Supreme Court's decision puts the responsibility squarely on elected officials to eliminate the tobacco industry's harmful influence and take effective action to protect the nation's health.

Ok.  Now, this is scary.  Screaming out for the need for the members of the Hill to rise up and protect us all from the evil Tobacco Empire?  Shouldn't the consumers do that, by simple marketplace choice?  But, no, wait....we don't have that option anymore.  We're now supposed to let our elected officials do the thinking for us.  Can you say 'Nanny state?'

Congress and the Obama administration should fund a national public education and stop-smoking campaign, and the Food and Drug Administration must effectively exercise its new authority to regulate tobacco products.

Personally, I think there isn't a person on the face of this planet who DOESN'T know at this point that smoking is dangerous, addictive, and has a 50-50 chance of killing you prematurely.  Do we REALLY need to fund additional educational and stop-smoking campaigns?  Hmmm.  From the perspective of CTFK, I'd say yes....because at least a portion of that funding will go into their coffers.

And the FDA exerting its newly-gained authority to regulate tobacco products?  They've done a bang-up job of it so far...banning those dangerous 'candy-flavored cigarettes!!!' that less than 5% of the current smoking population used, restricting advertising further, and flatly refusing to educate the public on the concept of Reduced Harm Tobacco Products.

Tell me, please, how burying the truth, that not all tobacco products carry the same risk, is this protecting the public?

As smoking rates have declined and restrictions on smoking have multiplied, the industry has introduced new smokeless tobacco products and significantly increased marketing for them. Some of these products look like candy, are flavored like candy and have colorful packaging like candy. They are easily concealed in settings such as classrooms.
Even as the FDA begins to exercise its new authority over tobacco products, the industry concocts new schemes to thwart the regulations.

Far be it from me to criticize what the CFTK is telling me (no, wait.....I WILL criticize) but it sounds like the tobacco industry is simply trying to re-invent its product lines to REDUCE the harm of combustible cigarettes - just as countless other industries have done when society or technology makes their products unfavorable or obsolete.

And speaking of these new.....candy-like nicotine products....has anyone had a chance to look over the new Nicorette Mini-lozenges?  Why aren't our friends at CTFK denouncing THESE products as well...after all, they come in mint flavors, a convenient package, look like a breath mint, contain nicotine, and are available OTC.


Oh yea, that's right...they're not being denounced because they are made by our friends at Big Pharma, and they have NOTHING but your health on their minds, don't ya know......

Pffffft!  The bias is screaming to our population.

The tobacco industry spends nearly $13 billion annually -- $35 million every single day -- to market its deadly and addictive products.
So?  How much money is dumped into advertising campaigns for new drugs, which later have to be pulled from the marketplace because of 'unforeseen adverse side-effects.'  How much money is dumped into advertising for alcohol - another highly-addictive substance sold for legal consumption to informed adults, for food products with a high-level of allergens, for automobiles that kill millions of people every year, for........well, you get my point.

I, for one, am tired of the 'damned if they do, damned if they don't' mentality of the anti-smoking crowd.  Their mission has changed for the worse.

They are hell-bent not on protecting the innocent public, but punishing the guilty Tobacco Giants.  Can you see the harm in this shift in thought?


  1. FDA approved chantix (latest smoking cessation pill) leads you to Smoking free healthy life. The Best possible way to quit smoking for clean and healthy world.

  2. yea, but let's simply not mention all those nasty side dementia, depression, rage and suicidal tendencies. I'll pass, thanks.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.