I have drafted an email that I plan to send to all of my friends and relatives, asking them to forward.
Are there people in your life who are tobacco smokers? Have they tried time and again to quit, without success? Do you wish there was some way you could help them stop?
What if there was an invention that would allow many, if not most, of the 45 million American smokers to quit—without any desire to go back to tobacco?
And what if very powerful groups were trying to force this product off the market by inaccurate accusations and deceptive claims about potential harm? Is that ethical? Is that in the best interests of public health?
The invention is known by many names, the most common of which is the “electronic cigarette”. It is a battery-operated mechanism that produces vaporized nicotine. There is no tar, no particulates, no ash, no carbon monoxide, no risk of passive smoking, and no unpleasant odor.
The electronic cigarette is marketed to current smokers, not as a smoking cessation product, but as an alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes, for occasional use where smoking is not permitted. But many are finding that this is an acceptable substitute for all of their tobacco cigarettes. In one survey on an electronic cigarettes forum, 73% of voters reported that they have completely quit using tobacco cigarettes.
This is an amazing success rate. To date, nearly 13,000 people have signed The Electronic Cigarette Petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/keep-life-saving-electronic-cigarettes-available. Go to the site. Read the comments. People who smoked for decades and tried over and over to quit have finally been able to stop smoking tobacco, thanks to these products. They are reporting remarkable improvements in their health, many of which have been verified by their doctors.
These products work because they provide adequate levels of nicotine. When people who are dependent reduce or eliminate their intake of nicotine, they become moody, depressed, anxious, and irritable. They start making mistakes no matter how hard they try to concentrate. They have problems remembering things. Given these circumstances, is it any wonder that most people resume smoking within the first two weeks after quitting? How long would most of us be able to get away with moodiness, forgetfulness, and making mistakes on the job? And how do such symptoms affect the performance of every-day tasks such as balancing the checkbook, taking medications, shopping, driving the car, or supervising children?
Many researchers suspect that people who are highly dependent on nicotine are using it to self-treat underlying disorders. Nicotine is being studied as a potential treatment for such conditions as attention deficits, Alzheimer’s, depression, anxiety, pain relief, Tourette Syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, schizophrenia, and epilepsy, as well as both treatment and prevention of Parkinson’s. Nicotine has none of the serious adverse effects that prescription antidepressants, corticosteroids, anti-seizure, anti-anxiety, and schizophrenia medications can cause.
Nicotine is not a carcinogen. Nicotine is not proven to cause heart attacks and strokes. Nicotine does not cause lung disease. Smoking can cause all of these, and it is the SMOKE--the product of combustion of the tobacco and paper, along with the thousands of additional carcinogens and toxins--that is the culprit.
The smoker you love may not be able to function without adequate levels of nicotine. And yet the attitude of the health organizations, anti-smoking groups, and even the FDA seems to be, “you should just quit or die.”
You may have heard that the FDA announced that it found harmful substances in some of the electronic cigarette cartridges it tested. What you did not hear is that most of these same substances are in their own approved nicotine-replacement products. And what you also did not hear is that all of the substances they found are in tobacco cigarettes in quantities that are orders-of-magnitude higher.
So if you care about the life and the health of someone who smokes, please help.
· Visit the Electronic Cigarette Petition site and add your name to nearly 13,000 others who have signed.
· Write to your elected federal officials, including President Obama, and ask them to take action to keep these life-saving devices available. You can find contact information for government officials here: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
· Tell the FDA how you feel about their ethics and their distorted, incomplete, and misleading statement. Tell Commissioner Hamburg that these products need to be kept on the market for the health and safety of those who might go back to tobacco without them. firstname.lastname@example.org
· If you contribute to the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, and/or the American Heart Association, tell them you believe that their “quit or die” approach is heartless and unethical.
· If you support anti-smoking groups, make sure they know that your beef is with tobacco, not with any product that helps people get off and stay off tobacco.
Most importantly, PASS THIS MESSAGE ON. Send it to everyone you know who is a smoker or who cares about someone who smokes.