Harm Reduction

Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 1.11.44 PMEven though diet soda has fewer calories than the regular version, that hasn't stopped some folks from devising involved theories to blame the low-calorie drink for the surge in obesity. There have even been studies purporting to support this theory, even though it's really difficult to believe that the food intake and physical activity data of free-living people are very accurate.

Thus, and not surprisingly, yet another study suggests that many people who drink diet soda to lose weight might sabotage these efforts by consuming more calories from other sources.

Dr. Ruopeng An...

Britt Marie Hermes. Credit: Naturopathic Diaries

People who like alternative medicine are always pleased when someone mainstream embraces their field, because it legitimizes their belief system.(1)

Alternative medicine is an easy narrative. Since it mostly requires belief, anecdotes are enough and recommendations needn't be bound by double-blind clinical trials. Want to believe that mimicking a symptom wards off a disease? Find a homeopath. Want to believe touching joints will prevent polio? Find an osteopath,...

imagesIn a recent Forbes blog post, Dr. Sally Satel, psychiatrist and addiction specialist, and professor of medicine Brad Rodu asked this question: Why do public health care advocates seem to care more about heroin addicts than smokers?

They have a point. There is a seemingly incomprehensible disconnect between "official" public...

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 1.12.36 PMA recent study concludes that teen e-cigarette use leads to nicotine addiction and then cigarette smoking.

This finding is a concern because it goes against CDC data, which has instead found that as teenagers have experimented with e-cigarettes in the last few years actual smoking rates have plummeted to the lowest levels ever recorded.

The issue may be a flaw in understanding correlation and epidemiology....

Credit: Mike Mozart via flickr Credit: Mike Mozart via flickr

Our readers and supporters know that when it comes to promoting smoking cessation, the American Council on Science and Health is second to none.

We have been engaged in a war on cigarettes ever since Dr. Elizabeth Whelan co-founded the organization almost 40 years ago. Our commitment to helping smokers quit, like through our Facebook page "Helping Addicted Smokers", is well documented. Whatever the mechanism - nicotine replacement,...

flavored vapesAn article in yesterday's Washington Post titled "What's in all that vaping smoke?" gets thing one wrong before getting one thing right. What it gets wrong is the title, by using the term "vaping smoke", which incorrectly equates combustible cigarette smoke, made by burning tobacco, with e-cigarette vapor, which is not a tobacco product and confuses people...

E-cigarette, fancySince its inception in 1978, the American Council on Science and Health has been a leader on smoking cessation, led by our late co-founder Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. To achieve a world without cigarettes, we've supported any means necessary to free a smoker from this insidious habit: patches, pharmaceuticals, gums, e-cigarettes and, heck, hypnosis if it'll do the trick. As long as something is helping smokers kick the habit, it's good for public health. However, there's concern that the reverse might be happening--and people are starting to smoke after using one of these products.

The product most...

Britain's Department of Health announced electronic cigarettes are around 95 percent less harmful than tobacco and should be promoted smoking cessation device, according to the results of a new study released Wednesday.

Authors of the Public Health England study say that most of the cancer causing chemicals found in combustible cigarettes are absent in electronic ones.

E-cigarettes are a method to inhale nicotine-laced vapor, with the idea being that, much as with nicotine gums or...

The American Council on Science and Health has led the nation in efforts to stop people from smoking so it's no surprise we have embraced patches, gums, e-cigarettes and products like "snus" made in Sweden as ways to ease people off of cigarettes, because they replace nicotine. Smoking kills but it is the nicotine that makes people want to smoke.

Sweden has long understood this. Their desire for membership in the European Union came to a hard stop when the EU tried to tell them that snus was a harmful tobacco product like cigarettes and should be banned. Not so, they said, it is a harm reduction tool. And they were correct. The rest of the EU has 300 percent of the tobacco deaths of Sweden because because only 13 percent of Swedes smoke.

Many use snus instead. What did...

E-vapor ArrayIn today s NEJM, a Perspective article by three experts in tobacco and economics discuss variable approaches to taxing nicotine-delivery products. Entitled Differential Taxes for Differential Risks Toward Reduced Harm from Nicotine-Yielding Products, it is co-...