U.S. Tobacco Harm Reduction Opposition - Déjà Vu and Nothing New Since 1994
Opposition to tobacco harm reduction (THR) today follows the same playbook as the attack 28 years ago on my first professional medical publication proposing smoke-free product substitution for cigarettes. The THR opponent in this TV broadcast refused to acknowledge any difference in risk (“tobacco is tobacco is tobacco; “trading body parts”); grossly exaggerated the risk of vastly safer smokeless tobacco; claimed that THR was unethical; appealed to authority (“every major health organization in this country… has said that smokeless is not a safe alternative…like jumping from the 3 rd floor instead of the 10th floor”); and alleged, without support, the existence of a teen smokeless tobacco epidemic, before unintentionally promoting the specific product I was then evaluating in a smoking cessation pilot study.
Author: Dr Brad Rodu
Organisation: University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Funding: University of Louisville