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TheFDA!Last week, the FDA gave a hint as to what was expected of their own Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC): nothing good for public health nor adherence to sound science, no siree, not when it comes to harm reduction products, Swedish Match s snus/smokeless tobacco, in this instance. They appeared to be predicting a long, hard and fruitless endeavor for the snus-makers in their quest for more accurate labeling of the product to conform to the science: snus-type smokeless tobacco has been shown to everyone s satisfaction except the bureaucrats at the FDA and the corrupt public health nonprofits to not...

Despite receiving even an A-list celebrity testimonial on their efficacy, e-cigarettes have gotten a lot of flack from public health opponents who argue that the clean nicotine delivery device is harmful and contains “toxic” chemicals. Well, thanks to a study co-authored by ACSH advisor Michael Siegel, M.D., M.P.H., and published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, it was found that out of 222 first-time e-cigarette users who “vaped” more than 20 times daily for six months, 70 percent quit smoking. Additionally, 66.8 percent reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked, while 31 percent of the total sample quit smoking after six...

The European Union Health Commission is out with a new set of rules proposing more regulations on e-cigarettes and tightening the absurd ban on snus which ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross is doing his best to counter in the popular press.

Dr. Ross has had no less than three columns in various publications about the new directives. In Forbes, he wrote that the the new policy guidelines "barely tinker with lethal, addictive cigarettes while effectively banning products that have been shown to help smokers quit."

In Euractiv, Dr. Ross noted how Sweden's experience with snus, a form of purified smokeless tobacco...

The World Health Organization predicts that if current trends continue, the likely toll of tobacco will amount to one-billion lives cut short worldwide. By tobacco, however, anyone with knowledge of the spectrum of tobacco-related disease knows it s the inhalation of cigarette smoke hundreds of thousands of times over decades that would be responsible if that catastrophic prediction comes to pass the relative harm of non-combustible tobacco and nicotine-delivery products is in the order of one percent that of smoking. Yet the new policy guidelines barely tinker with lethal, addictive cigarettes while effectively banning products that have been shown to help smokers quit.

Earlier this month, the European Union Health Commission released the draft of its latest Tobacco Products...

A quick search on Google or any Internet search machine for the topic "alcohol, pregnancy" will reveal that the precautionary principle is alive and well.

Websites from small pre-natal forums to the National March of Dimes sound dire warnings about the allegedly ill effect of drinking even a drop of alcohol --distilled spirits, beer, or wine -- just before or during pregnancy. The message communicated is this: even trace consumption of alcoholic beverages will increase the risk of birth defects -- some defects grossly obvious, some more subtle, taking the form of neurological impairment and learning disabilities.

This message has no basis in fact.

It is bad enough when private groups misrepresent the facts about alcohol and pregnancy, but it is absolutely...

A September 26, 2006 article by Lauren Foster notes that judges have ruled claims that "light" cigarettes are healthier to be false but that the idea of using smokeless tobacco as a safer alternative for those who can't quit nicotine is catching on, citing researcher Brad Rodu and ACSH's Jeff Stier:

Mr. Rodu and others point to Sweden, where snus is more widely used by men than cigarettes and where men have the lowest rate of lung cancer in Europe. One study showed that the smoking rate among Swedish men fell from 19% in 1996 to 9% in 2004. By contrast, women are much less likely to use snus and their rate of tobacco-related deaths is similar to that in other European countries.

Jonathan Foulds, director of the...

"The EU s new tobacco policy statement, ostensibly designed to promote public health, will have the opposite effect: Far from reducing the toll of tobacco, millions will be condemned to ongoing addiction to smoking, half of whom will die as a direct result.

The World Health Organization predicts that if current trends continue, the likely toll of tobacco will amount to one billion lives cut short worldwide.

By tobacco, however, anyone with knowledge of the spectrum of tobacco-related disease knows it s the inhalation of cigarette smoke hundreds of thousands of times over decades that would be responsible if that catastrophic prediction comes to pass - the relative harm of non-combustible tobacco and nicotine-delivery products is in the order of one percent that of...

Cigars and Pipes and Chewing Tobacco, Oh My!
An article in the Annals of Internal Medicine concludes, “Pipe and cigar smoking increased urine cotinine levels and was associated with decreased lung function consistent with obstructive lung disease. Physicians should consider pipe and cigar smoking a risk factor and counsel cessation regardless of cigarette smoking history.”

“Of course pipe and cigar smokers will have tobacco byproducts, including cotinine, in their blood and urine,” says ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross. “It's also not...

According to the Wall Street Journal, “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected a request by cigarette giant Philip Morris USA to remove four members of a key tobacco-products advisory panel that the company said had extensive conflicts of interest.” The panel is intended to assess the role of smokeless tobacco products as a means of harm reduction for addicted smokers.

“In this case, I have to agree with Philip Morris, i.e. Altria,” says ACSH’s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. “These panelists are biased. In these days of full disclosure and removing people from panels for financial conflicts, it appears that now the FDA is...

On Thursday, Dr. Ross met with the FDA’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) to discuss the importance of smokeless tobacco and other reduced risk nicotine delivery systems to curbing the country’s smoking-related mortality rate. Historically, the FDA has had a hostile stance toward tobacco harm reduction, but Dr. Ross hopes to change that, encouraging them to acknowledge the scientific evidence that shows tobacco harm reduction can help people stop smoking and can save smokers’ lives.