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FDA TPSAC member Neal Benowitz grossly misrepresents evidence on tobacco harm reduction and smokeless tobacco

Discussion in 'Legislation News' started by Bill Godshall, Sep 28, 2011.

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  1. Bill Godshall

    Bill Godshall Executive Director
    Smokefree Pennsylvania
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    In an op/ed entitled "Smokeless Tobacco as a Nicotine Delivery Device: Harm or Harm Reduction?"
    at http://www.nature.com:80/clpt/journal/v90/n4/full/clpt2011191a.html,
    FDA TPSAC member Neal Benowitz (after writing 8 objective paragraphs) grossly misrepresented the scientific and empirical evidence about tobacco harm reduction and smokeless tobacco in the 9th paragraph by writing:

    Then in the next two paragraphs, Benowitz touted the benefits of verenicline before acknowledging that he has received funding from drug companies that market smoking cessation products.

    Unfortunately for objectivity and public health, Benowitz failed to mention and failed cite any of the many scientific articles that have found that:
    - smokeless tobacco products are exponentially less hazardous than cigarettes,
    - switching to smokeless reduces a smokers health risks nearly as much as quitting all tobacco,
    - millions of smokers have already quit smoking by switching to smokeless tobacco,
    - reducing cigarette consumption reduces health risks for smokers (and for those around them),
    - dual usage of smokeless tobacco by smokers is a necessary prerequisite to switching,
    - there are far more smokers who switch to smokeless than smokeless users who switch to cigarettes,
    - smokeless tobacco is only a risk factor for smoking for those who believe the misleading warnings on smokeless tobacco products, and
    - the most effective way to reduce the number of smokeless users who switch to cigarettes is by truthfully informing the public that cigarettes are far more hazardous than smokeless tobacco.
     
  2. Bill Godshall

    Bill Godshall Executive Director
    Smokefree Pennsylvania
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  3. Vocalek

    Vocalek CASAA Activist ECF Veteran

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    Wow. Maybe Dr. Benowitz could use a little nicotine to improve his own memory. On October 26, 2010, he testified at the FDA public hearing on Risks and Benefits of Long Term use of NRTs, reviewing the evidence on the safety of long-term use of snus and extrapolating from that evidence to indicate that long-term use of pharmaceutical nicotine would be just as safe. His slides can be viewd here: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/NewsEvents/UCM232147.pdf

    "The lack of increase in common cancers in lifelong ST users indicates that nicotine is not a general cancer promoter." (Slide #7)

    "Meta-analyses showing increased risk of MI and stroke in ST users are heavily weighted by CPS-I and CPS-II, which are older US studies with many methodologic problems. More recent Swedish studies and an NHANES study indicate minimal if any increased risk of CVD with ST." (Slide #13).

    "Extrapolating ST Studies to Questions of Nicotine Safety
    • No evidence that nicotine causes or promotes cancer
    • Nicotine may slightly increase the risk of MI and stroke. If so the risks are far lower than those of cigarette smoking
    • Nicotine likely has adverse effects on reproduction, including increasing the risk of pre-eclampsia and preterm birth" (Slide #15)
     
  4. rothenbj

    rothenbj Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    But Elaine, he was selling, er promoting, no, espousing the benefits of the pharmaceutical products that he gets paid, I mean knows have been proven "safe and effective" in the FDA's eyes. There, I think I have it worded properly.
     
  5. DC2

    DC2 Tootie Puffer Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    I don't like Dr. Neal Benowitz, and would love the opportunity to tell him so.
     
  6. McCordRM

    McCordRM Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Back in Texas! Yay!
    Grr... you put the letters "D" and "R" in front of someone's name, and suddenly
    they have a license to mis-inform the public. Shouldn't that be malpractice?
     
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