Professor: Tobacco Free Kids Will Help Kill Millions of Smokers
Tobacco Free Kids will contribute to the death of millions of smokers because of fanatical opposition to any tobacco products, a professor in medicine has claimed.
Brad Rodu, a professor of medicine and holder of an endowed chair in tobacco harm reduction research at the University of Louisville, said in a comment on an open letter to Tobacco Free Kids:
There is no public health justification for denying smokers information about and access to safer sources of tobacco and nicotine. But the war against tobacco, conducted by Tobacco Free Kids and their allies, is not about public health. It has become the latest in a long line of misguided American moral crusades.
The professor was referring to a Tobacco Bill due to enter the senate next week which has the support of both Tobacco Free Kids and America's largest tobacco company, Philip Morris. Some experts in Tobacco Harm Reduction believe that the bill will lead to a defacto ban on alternatives to nicotine by requiring research that is physically impossible to carry out. If their analysis is correct, and with nicotine replacement aids only licenced for use for short periods of time, it would mean that smokers who can't or won't quit would have no choice but to use regular cigarettes.
Professor Rodu also appeared to suggest that powerful interests were involved in the Tobacco Bill:
The American legislative process is closed to all but a few powerful interests, who will soon be gloating over their "success" in passing FDA regulation of tobacco. I am convinced that these anti-tobacco extremists will eventually be held partially responsible for the deaths of millions of uninformed smokers.
Although we have sent Tobacco Free Kids a copy of the letter several times over the last few days, they have yet to comment on the Professor's statements. On their website they maintain that the bill will reduce the sale of cigarettes to children, but make no mention of alternatives to tobacco.