Tobacco Harm Reduction

CDC: E-cigarettes more popular than FDA-approved quitting aids

Cigarette smokers prefer e-cigarettes to the Food and Drug Administration's approved quit methods, according to a research brief authored by RTI International, the University of North Carolina and …

Age restrictions on smoking, drinking and driving

State legislatures have been lobbied in a coordinated effort, called Tobacco 21, to raise the minimum age for tobacco sales from 18 to 21 years. Hawaii, California and …

Letter to Contra Costa supervisors on e-cigarettes

The R Street Institute recognizes the negative effects of smoking and supports policies that move smokers toward less harmful alternatives. We believe that Contra Costa’s proposed anti-tobacco ordinance …

Coalition opposes Novato City Council proposed tobacco ordinance

We, the undersigned, recognize the negative impacts of smoking and support policies which move smokers towards less harmful alternatives. At the same time, we remain dedicated to preserving …

Comments to FDA on regulating tobacco-related products as drugs

Cigarettes are the most hazardous and addictive tobacco product. All of the 480,000 U.S. deaths each year attributed by federal authorities to tobacco products are due to a …

The human toll of anti-tobacco extremism

This is a tale of two tobacco users and the very different medical advice they received. In 2005, two physicians and a dentist published a report in the American Journal …

Vivek Murthy on vaping and public health

R Street Associate Fellow Damon L. Jacobs attended the recent National Council for Behavioral Health's NatCon conference in Seattle, where he got to ask Surgeon General Vivek Murthy …

Novato’s tobacco ordinance is discriminatory

The City of Novato’s recently enacted anti-tobacco ordinance—which will go into effect in 2018, but is subject to reconsideration next week—would give landlords a tool with which to discriminate …

The ever-expanding reach of anti-tobacco zealots

San Francisco’s rent-control and tenant ordinances are so oppressive that thousands of apartment units sit vacant in a city where fierce housing demand has pushed rents for tiny apartments to …

Educating Air Force generals about tobacco use and risks

The Military Health System and the Defense Health Agency published a grossly misleading article on their website in November 2016 titled, "Quit the spit: Smokeless tobacco no better …

The government has to change its tune on how to reduce harm from tobacco

A recent report from the Core Team on Tobacco Control drew 120 eminent signatories from the tobacco control community to endorse the proposition that it is possible to …

R Street Institute comments to Rhode Island legislature regarding ‘Public Health and Workplace Safety Act’ H-5821

Members of the Committee: As a medical doctor who has pioneered new smoking cessation efforts, a therapist heavily involved in issues that impact the LGBT community and the president …

E-cig tipping points vs. FDA deeming regulations

The attached policy study originally was published in Volume 8, Issue 1 of the Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy. In 2002, writer Malcom Gladwell introduced the concept of …

Department of Defense anti-smokeless campaign is ’50’ shades darker

February is a popular month for tobacco prohibitionists to attack smokeless tobacco, or "ST." A year ago, I refuted seven false claims on the topic from county health …

E-cigarette toxic chemical exposure is same as for nonsmokers

The new finding from British and U.S. e-cigarette researchers understated the good news for vapers. "Long-term NRT-only and e-cigarette-only use…is associated with substantially reduced levels of measured carcinogens and …

Concerned healthcare providers respond to New York Department of Health Commissioner’s remarks on e-cigarettes

The following letter was written in response to this bulletin from New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker.  Dear Dr. Zucker, We are writing to you as concerned healthcare providers in …

Nitzkin talks THR on America Tonight

R Street Senior Fellow Joel Nitzkin joined host Kate Delaney recently to discuss tobacco harm reduction on her America Tonight radio show, which is heard nationally over 220 AM and …

FDA should get out of the smokeless tobacco industry

The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Associate Fellow Brad Rodu. Just days after President Donald Trump's inauguration, the Food and Drug Administration proposed new rule mandating major reductions in the …

Congress, please make smoking less harmful

Legislation introduced recently by Reps. Tom Cole, R-Okla., and Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., would make significant changes to the way the Food and Drug Administration regulates tobacco and nicotine …

Heavy snus use: Possible link to Type 2 diabetes

A Swedish research study finds that heavy consumption of snus is associated with type 2 diabetes. Analyzing data from six groups of Swedish men, researchers found no risk of …

Vapor devices are not cigarettes

There is a movement afoot in New Mexico to treat e-cigarettes and related nicotine-vapor products as if they pose the same risks for addiction and potentially fatal tobacco-attributable …

Nicotine, smokeless tobacco and Tourette’s Syndrome

A man with Tourette's Syndrome, a nerve disorder developing in childhood and involving muscle tics (repetitive involuntary movement) and voice problems, recently posted online his experience with smokeless …

Complicated models can’t alter the data – part 2: Youth smoking is way down

As reported here last week, University of California-San Francisco researchers Lauren Dutra and Stanton Glantz tortured data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) to support a purported “lack of …

Comments to Taiwan Health Promotion Administration regarding the Tobacco Hazards Prevention and Control Act

We are an American physician with a background in health benefits management and smoking cessation and the head of an influential U.S.-based think tank, the R Street Institute, …

Tobacco harm reduction potential for ‘heat not burn’

"Heat not burn" is a method of delivering the tobacco experience by heating, rather than igniting it. The potential benefits of this approach involve its ability either to …

Fixing the federal policy on e-cigs will save lives

Unless something changes soon, the doomsday clock will strike midnight on the e-cigarette industry. Thanks to regulations finalized in August 2016 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), …

Debunking the ‘experts’ on vaping

A recent article on the millennial-focused website Mic.com deigned to summarize “what the experts say” about the long-term effects of vaping, which certainly is an important topic. Alas, the …

Seventh Circuit strikes down Indiana’s protectionist vaping rules

Apparently we weren’t the only observers who thought the Indiana law regulating vaping products was a little over the top. A major reason why Indianapolis rated a grade …

Experts to FDA: End the smokeless tobacco misinformation campaign

Two internationally renowned tobacco policy experts are urging the Food and Drug Administration and "like campaigns and health information websites” to “follow established ethical principles and accepted communication …

New study: Eight tobacco harm reduction proposals for the government

WASHINGTON (Jan. 31, 2016) – The federal government’s decision to regulate all nicotine products without regard for the amount of harm they cause will ultimately be detrimental to …

Eight tobacco harm reduction proposals for the federal government

The attached policy study was co-authored by R Street President Eli Lehrer and David Sweanor, professor at the University of Ottawa’s Center for Health Law. In 2015, 36.5 million …

Federal studies: ZERO mouth cancer deaths among men who dip or chew tobacco

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Jan. 23, 2017, published a proposed smokeless tobacco regulation that was based on erroneous calculations of smokeless tobacco risks. The agency's rules …

13 free-market groups urge Congress to amend the FDA’s deeming rule for e-cigarettes

We, the undersigned organizations dedicated to free markets and innovation, urge you to amend the Food and Drug Administration’s Deeming Rule, which heavily restricts the development and availability …

Letter to New York Times on opioid treatment

The treatment proposed by Tim Lahey is part of a larger family of clinical approaches that could help reshape the landscape for many of our health care challenges. Harm …

State, city should be friendlier for e-cigarettes

Even though a half-million Americans die every year from smoking-related illness, roughly 17 percent of U.S. adults continue to smoke. It’s encouraging that new options have come to the …

Can e-cigarettes be a harm reduction approach for HIV-positive smokers?

John is a 43-year-old gay-identified man who arrives coughing at my office for his weekly therapy appointment. "I've now been living with HIV for 15 years and undetectable …

Confirmed: Snus use protective for Parkinson’s disease

Investigators in Sweden, Italy and the United States report that "non-smoking men who used snus had a substantially reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease." The research, published in the International Journal …

Sacramento Bee errs twice with fake news on e-cigarettes

The Sacramento Bee on Jan. 21 published a column written by a hearing aids company executive.  Titled “E-cigarettes may also cause hearing loss," the piece asserted that “damage to inner …

Why policy should recognize help of e-cigarettes

In the late 1960s, I worked at Grant Hospital as an inhalation therapist, fascinated that some of those I treated for breathing ailments would stub out a cigarette …

FDA rejects plea to correct smokeless tobacco warnings; a closer look at flawed interpretations

After a two-and-a-half-year review, the Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products rejected Swedish Match's request to eliminate or revise the 30-year-old, egregiously inaccurate warnings that are …

CalPERS considers – then rejects – efforts to end tobacco divestment

As the nation's largest state-based pension fund, the California Public Employees' Retirement System is known for using its massive investment muscle to promote various social-investment causes. So-called ESGs …

In California, an about-face on tobacco

The nation’s largest state-based pension fund, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), has long been known for using its investment muscle to push for “socially responsible” investments …

R Street letter to Vice President-Elect Pence on FDA e-cigarette regulations

Dear Vice President-Elect Pence: The R Street Institute, a free-market think tank based in Washington, D.C., endorses the prompt roll back of the August 2016 U.S. Food and Drug …

Lots of smoke, no fire

Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy got it wrong. Contrary to the claims in this week’s highly publicized report, e-cigarettes and other vapor devices are not a threat to …

R Street comments on surgeon general’s report on e-cigarettes

WASHINGTON (Dec. 8, 2016) – The Office of the U.S. Surgeon General today released its first ever report on e-cigarettes and nicotine vapor devices. While the R Street …

E-cigarettes help smokers quit, so why crack down on them?

When it comes to battling teen pregnancy, our nation’s health officials have for two decades put aside moralism and focused on “harm reduction.” For example, instead of continuing …

Regulators’ vaping crackdown should concern other innovative industries

On the Food and Drug Administration’s webpage, Commissioner Robert M. Califf asserts “a successful FDA is a critical factor for better public health in this changing world” and …

Memo for media and Hill staff on surgeon-general’s e-cigarette report

To: Media and congressional staff From: Clive Bates, The Counterfactual and Eli Lehrer, president of the R Street Institute Re: Office of the Surgeon General’s forthcoming report on e-cigarettes On Thursday, …

Vaping can help smokers

When it comes to smoking, there are two universal truths. First, smoking is really bad for you. And, second, it’s really hard to quit. America has been making progress. …

Will the public housing smoking ban include electronic cigarettes?

On Wednesday, a different Castro was in the news: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro decreed that all 3,100 local Public Housing Agencies must …

Motorcycles aren’t cars and cigarettes aren’t smoke-free tobacco

Motorcycles are more dangerous than cars. We know this because a government agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, routinely provides data that confirms it. For example, NHTSA reports …

R Street’s priorities for the next administration

The incoming Trump administration will inherit numerous challenges that must be dealt with in year one, such as overwhelming shortfalls in the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. and debt …

Vapescore 2016: Regulating vapor products in U.S. cities

The attached study was co-authored by R Street Research Associate Dan Semelsberger  Americans' use of tobacco cigarettes has declined over the past decade from 20.9 percent of adults in 2004 …

California voters defy trend – by voting as expected

Whereas the national election results shocked and surprised pollsters and many media observers, California’s results from Election Day conformed almost exactly to pre-election polls and predictions. Some of …

California misses another electoral wave

It’s hard to overstate the significance of Donald Trump’s improbable presidential victory Tuesday, yet the GOP tide barely fazed the nation’s most populous state. Democrat Hillary Clinton won …

Miscounting teen perceptions of e-cigarettes

journal Pediatrics recently published a report based on the 2012 and 2014 National Youth Tobacco Surveys. Stephen Amrock and coauthors from the Oregon Health Sciences University found that …

FDA tobacco director ignores 2.5 million ‘anecdotal reports’ about e-cigarettes

A feature of this month’s annual meeting of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) was a videotaped interview with Mitch Zeller, director of the Food and Drug Administration's …

Election time in a one-party state

After George W. Bush was declared winner of the 2000 presidential election, I headed from our newspaper offices to the Orange County Republican Party election event, where I …

Memo to Feds: Tobacco ≠ Smoking

Government officials almost always use the word “tobacco” when they are actually discussing “cigarettes” or “smoking.” This practice is apparent in a 2015 progress report from the Centers for …

Direct democracy not always the ideal approach

The following blog post was co-authored by R Street Western Region Director Steven Greenhut. Colorado and California are among the states most accustomed to direct democracy: the initiative, …

Harm-reduction initiatives violate Hippocratic Oath

The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Western Region Director Steven Greenhut. Most of us have heard the dictum, "First, do no harm." It's often thought of as …

The Truth about Traffic: Putting fatalities in context

In my lectures, I often provide context about the risks associated with the use of tobacco products by comparing those behaviors with the use of automobiles.  Putting risk in …

Do Less Harm: The vapid opposition to vaping

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, hates e-cigarettes. The devices, he says, are little more than an evil plot, "the new frontier in tobacco companies' quest to get kids addicted …

Dr. Edward Anselm’s comments to the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness regarding e-cigarettes

Dear Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness: My name is Dr. Edward Anselm. I am a medical expert currently serving as director for Health Republic Insurance of …

Do Less Harm: The vapid opposition to vaping

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, hates e-cigarettes. The devices, he says, "are little more than an evil plot, the new frontier in tobacco companies' quest to get kids addicted …

Truth Initiative belies its name in new smokeless tobacco screed

The Truth Initiative is a $1 billion foundation devoted to tobacco prohibition. Launched as the American Legacy Foundation with cash from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, the group …

DEA’s kratom battle another misstep in war on drugs

In their infinite wisdom, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is expanding the war on drugs this week to include kratom, a medicinal plant seen by many as a …

‘ENDS’ don’t justify the means with e-cigarettes

E-cigarettes and vaping are transforming tobacco use in the United States and worldwide. These innovative products are being used almost exclusively by smokers looking for substitutes for more …

Study on smoking’s damage to DNA underscores need for cessation options

New research on the effects of smoking is capturing the internet’s attention today – a million people are discussing it and it is a top-trending subject on Facebook …

Selling tobacco to kids: FDA inspection data from 2015 and 2016

A Sept. 15 Food & Drug Administration press release notes the agency “has taken action against 55 tobacco retailers by issuing the first warning letters for selling newly …

Letter to Mitch Zeller on FDA e-cigarette rules

The attached letter was co-authored by Clives Bates, director of The Counterfactual.  We were pleased when, in a May 2015 interview in The New York Times, you called for …

American Cancer Society and CDC withheld evidence on safer smokeless products

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cancer Society have a long history of suppressing information about the relative risks of smokeless tobacco (ST) products. CDC …

Dr. Joel Nitzkin comments to the New Zealand Ministry of Health on e-cigarette regulation

The attached consultation on policy options for the regulation of electronic cigarettes was submitted to the New Zealand Ministry of Health. …

Tobacco tax one of the most heated for November ballot

There’s broad agreement that the 17 initiatives on the Nov. 8 statewide ballot cover some of the most significant public-policy issues to come before voters in more than a decade. …

PROP 56: Tobacco initiative fails to make crucial distinctions

The attached policy short was co-authored by R Street State Programs Director Cameron Smith.  As the United States’ failed experiment with Prohibition was drawing to a close, two major groups fought …

FDA Study: Cancer risks nearly nil for 1-2 cigars per day

The Food and Drug Administration, which now regulates cigars, has taken the position that "cigar smoking carries many of the same health risks as cigarette smoking."  The agency is …

NHS approves an e-cigarette for use in smoking cessation

In another note of progress in the war against tobacco-related disease, the United Kingdom's National Health Service announced yesterday it has approved an e-cigarette to help people quit …

Low-tar cigarettes had merit, said American Cancer Society; So do e-cigarettes

E-cigarette opponents routinely claim that e-cigarettes benefit from industry-promoted consumer health misconceptions, in the same manner that so-called "light" cigarettes soared in popularity years ago, when, it is …

Are vaping taxes about revenue rather than health?

From ChurnMag.com: The California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016 is slated for the initiative ballot this November, but it’s already raising questions about vaping taxation. …

FDA’s e-cigarette rules are a public-health hazard

Since they first were introduced in the United States in 2006, electronic cigarettes have helped millions of U.S. smokers to cut down or quit and diverted teens from …

A smokeless history lesson for vaping advocates

E-cigarettes are under siege by federal health authorities and NGOs, aided and abetted by countless university researchers funded generously by the National Institutes of Health. Many of their …

Nearly 70 percent of European vapers have quit or reduced smoking

Misperceptions about the safety and efficacy of electronic cigarettes abound, yet each new piece of research shows increasingly positive results. The latest study by Konstantinos Farsalinos and colleagues surveyed …

New FDA vaping regulations will harm public health

Going back to the nation's founding, cigarette smoking has wreaked havoc on U.S. public health and contributed to an astronomical death toll. According to the Centers for Disease …

Use e-cigarettes? Moffitt Cancer Center wants you to be ‘Forever Free’

The Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, is recruiting smokers who vape (i.e., dual users) for a clinical trial that, according to spokesman Vani Nath Simmons, aims to answer …

What drives tobacco-control policy?

This is a follow-up to the presentation by Dr. David Ashley of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) at the March 2016 meeting of …

CDC data show fewer vapers and smokers in 2015

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2015 National Health Interview Survey – the source for national smoking estimates – reveals some surprising e-cigarette facts, summarized in this …

State officials addicted to nicotine taxes

The last time I wrote about tobacco-related measures, I concluded that California legislators and health advocates have let a bit of Puritanism get the better of them. Why …

Doctor’s Orders: E-cigarettes in U.S. clinical practice

E-cigarettes and related nicotine vapor devices have become extremely popular among smokers in the United States, while attracting remarkably few nonsmokers to continuing nicotine use. According to a …

Liberty extinguished

From Daily Journal: And that’s too bad, since as Steven Greenhut of the R Street Institute points out, a study from the United Kingdom’s Royal College of Physicians notes …

Why deleting the FDA’s ban of e-cigarette flavors is good for public health

In what should be taken as a note of common sense amid the highly contentious debate surrounding the Food and Drug Administration’s oversight of tobacco products, reports have …

Should we just take the nicotine out of cigarettes?

The short answer is…not yet. In the United States, the ultimate goal of tobacco-control programming long has been a “tobacco-free society.” This goal is clearly articulated in the most …

The robust public-health case for tobacco harm reduction

Last year, Margarete Kulik and Stanton Glantz proclaimed in Tobacco Control that there is no public-health basis for telling smokers about smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes as safer cigarette …

California’s vaping law puts puritanism above health

I like to quote H.L. Mencken’s definition of Puritanism: “The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” It often applies in the Capitol, with one of the …

R Street encouraged by legal challenge to FDA deeming rules

WASHINGTON (May 12, 2016) – The R Street Institute is encouraged by news that Nicopure Labs LLC, a Tampa-based manufacturer of nicotine e-liquids and vaping devices, has filed …

Free-market groups to Energy and Commerce Committee: Move quickly to pass HR 2058

Dear Chairman Upton, Ranking Member Pallone and Members of the Energy and Commerce Committee, On behalf of the undersigned, we urge you to move quickly to pass legislation (H.R. …

FDA moves to kill e-cigarettes

If Congress has any self-respect or desire to preserve its own prerogatives, it needs to overturn the FDA's new proposed regulations on e-cigarettes. The regulations, announced last week, would …

FDA wants more people to die of lung cancer, moves to stamp out vaping market

If the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) statutory purpose is to protect public health, why is the agency using its regulatory power in a way that stands to …

R Street calls on Congress to amend FDA rules for e-cigarettes

WASHINGTON (May 5, 2016) – The R Street Institute expressed deep disappointment with the Food and Drug Administration’s final rule, published today, calling for all electronic cigarette products …

FDA’s deeming rules could be step backward for public health

This morning saw the release of long-awaited regulations from the Food and Drug Administration that extend its authority over all tobacco-related products, including the broad spectrum of electronic …

Royal College of Physicians: E-cig switch benefits smokers

The United Kingdom's Royal College of Physicians issued a groundbreaking report this morning on electronic cigarettes which concludes that encouraging smokers to switch to e-cigarettes is likely to …

What drives tobacco-control policy?

The attached policy brief has been accepted for publication by the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research. This is a follow-up to the presentation by Dr. David Ashley of the FDA’s …

R Street urges House Appropriations Committee to pass amendment changing predicate date for tobacco-related products

Dear Chairman Rogers and Members of the Committee on Appropriations, R Street Institute is a free-market think tank focused on a pragmatic approach to public policy challenges. As advocates …

Sonoma should step back from punitive tobacco law

A version of this post also appeared as a letter to the editor in the April 19, 2016 edition of the Press Democrat newspaper.  The Sonoma County Board of …

Punitive tobacco law

Sonoma County supervisors still can step back from their overly punitive anti-tobacco ordinance as it comes before the board for a second reading today. This ordinance is designed primarily …

Letter to Alaska Legislature on e-cigarettes

Dear Alaska State Legislator or Legislative Staff Member: I am a public-health physician who has been involved in tobacco control since the 1970s. I have been a local health …

Raise the smoking age to 21?

To the Editor: The scientific evidence for the bill raising the legal smoking age to 21 in California is strong and is based on an Institute of Medicine …

California anti-nicotine package vaporizes common sense

The California Legislature this past week approved a far-reaching package of anti-nicotine bills. Republicans objected, but Democrats insisted the state – despite having some of the lowest smoking …

Letter to R.I. Senate Judiciary Committee on S. 2107

Dear Sen. McCaffrey: I am a public health physician who advises the R Street Institute on tobacco-related policy. Detail on my background and how I arrived at my position …

Congress should act to ensure e-cigarettes aren’t pulled from the market

WASHINGTON (Feb. 18, 2016) – Congress should act to pass legislation to keep e-cigarettes and other vaping products on the market, as their removal would jeopardize millions of …

H.R. 2058 and the regulation of e-cigarettes

H.R. 2058, recently introduced in May 2015 by U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., draws the attention of policymakers to the structure of the Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory …

The e-cigarette barn door is open

The health of America's 42 million smokers, whose lives will be cut short an average of ten years by their continued use of combusted cigarettes, is being held …

Fueling the e-cigarette ‘gateway’ crusade with tax dollars

In an extraordinary leap of logic, a report in Tobacco Control links "ever" use of e-cigarettes – even a single experimental puff – to subsequent "ever" use of …

Randomized trial of reduced-nicotine standards for cigarettes

The article by Donny et al.[1] and the accompanying Perspective article by Fiore and Baker[2] have prompted considerable discussion. Until the results of this study are replicated in a …

Bootleggers, Baptists and e-cigarettes

E-cigarette users should be concerned about proposed Food and Drug Administration regulations that may eliminate most brands of these potentially life-saving cigarette alternatives, leaving only those products marketed …

Comments to FDA on regulating tobacco products as drugs

Summary Recommendations: FDA should redefine smoking as a behavior, not a disease, and regulate all tobacco-related and nicotine-delivery products accordingly. FDA should migrate all regulation of tobacco-related and nicotine-delivery products …

E-cigarette flavors needed to keep vapers from returning to smoking

WASHINGTON (Dec. 22, 2015) – The variety of flavors available for Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) like e-cigarettes are a component that keeps many users from returning to …

The role of flavoring in tobacco harm reduction

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY One of the great public health controversies of our time surrounds the debate over what role Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), of which e-cigarettes are the most …

Effect of further cigarette tax increases on youth smoking appears minimal or nil

Most states and many cities have in the last 20 years initiated or raised tobacco excise taxes.  The fact that both the amount and rate of tax increases differ widely across …

Practicing what we preach on smoking cessation

R Street’s work on tobacco harm reduction matters a great deal to us. On these matters, we’ve taken a position different from many other libertarian groups. It might …

Onerous new FDA rules will increase smoking

This piece was co-authored by R Street State Programs Director Cameron Smith.   New rules from the Food and Drug Administration could wreck the consumer-driven market for a broad range …

Understanding the crusade against e-cigarettes

Two recent public comment letters from Stanton Glantz of the University of California at San Francisco finally lay bare the myth that underlies the public-health crusade against e-cigarettes …

An unrealistic smoking ban

The regulations proposed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development described in the Nov. 13 Federal Eye column, “Plan to snuff smoking in public housing” [The Fed Page], …

Feds to punish public-housing tenants for smoking in their own apartments

Sometime in the next two years, if Obama administration bureaucrats get their way, public-housing tenants who smoke in their own apartments will face sanctions, fines and perhaps even …

Red flag for vapers: avoid some flavoring agents

As a health professional, I started telling smokers to switch to smokeless tobacco in 1994, based on decades of definitive epidemiological evidence for the relative safety of smokeless …

Youth e-cigarette bans increase youth cigarette smoking

Smoking increased significantly among teens aged 12 to 17 in states that banned e-cigarette sales to minors compared with states that didn’t impose bans, according to a study …

Modeling the health effects of expanding e-cigarette sales

A modeling study by Sara Kalkhoran and Stanton A. Glantz published in the Oct. 1, 2015 edition of JAMA Internal Medicine can reasonably be interpreted as demonstrating the …

How many Americans smoke?

In June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey, an annual report the CDC has used for half a …

Study: E-Cig bans on minors lead to higher smoking rates

As electronic cigarettes have proliferated and spawned a sub-culture of their own—vape shops, chai-latte-flavored vaping fluid and even the "sport" of cloud chasing—few policies have seemed as intuitive …

Up in Vapor: The real story behind the formaldehyde-cancer link

Vapers, rest easy about e-cigarettes and formaldehyde. As a pathologist with 28 years' formaldehyde exposure via workplace inhalation, I have both a professional and a personal interest in whether …

No, e-cigarettes aren’t recruiting teens to smoke

Writing in the Sept. 8 edition of JAMA Pediatrics, Dr. Brian Primack and team reported on a portion of the data from a national survey of U.S. teens …

Endgame proposals and a wake-up call to the tobacco-control community

The recent endgame review by Patricia McDaniel and her team in the Aug. 28 edition of Tobacco Control demonstrates a major flaw in thinking within the tobacco-control community. The …

E-cigarettes and recruitment of teens to nicotine addiction

Writing in the Aug. 18 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Adam Leventhal of the University of Southern California and his team survey teens about …

Letter to National Park Service on e-cigarette policy

This note is in response to the National Park Service news release dated Sept. 14, 2015, about subjecting electronic cigarettes to the same rules imposed on combustible tobacco …

Breaking news from the CDC: smoking plummets in Q1 2015

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 15.2 percent of American adults smoked during January to March of this year. This is not only the …

Need for dialogue on tobacco harm reduction

What is now needed, if we are to ever secure the personal and public health benefits that e-cigarettes and tobacco harm reduction can offer, is honest and sincere …

British government backs e-cigarettes for smokers

Public Health England last week became the first national government agency to endorse e-cigarettes as safer options for current smokers. Its report also dispelled several bogus anti-tobacco claims. PHE …

E-cigarettes used by 4.2% of men, 3.4% of women in 2014, as smoking declined

Last week, I announced first-ever national estimates, generated from new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, of U.S. e-cigarette users in 2014, almost 2 million of whom …

30 million U.S. adults have used e-cigarettes, unpublicized CDC data reveals

Analyzing fresh data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey, which involved nearly 37,000 respondents, it can be estimated that 30 million American adults have used an e-cigarette …

A misguided FDA crusade

From Brussels to Chicago to the headquarters of the Food and Drug Administration in White Oak, Md., public health officials, antismoking crusaders and mayors are waging a battle …

Procedural quagmire dooms California vaping ban, for now

In a victory for commonsense, the California Assembly's Governmental Organization Committee has voted to amend a bill that would have classified vapor products as tobacco products. As a …

Kaiser Permanente’s not-so-negative take on smokeless tobacco

Kaiser Permanente might better call itself "Kaiser In Transition." A week ago I noted that the company’s website provides smokers with three grossly incorrect reasons to avoid e-cigarettes.  As …

Letter to D.C. Council on e-cigarette taxes

My name is Dr. Edward Anselm and I am a senior fellow with the R Street Institute, a D.C.-based free-market think tank that takes a pragmatic approach to …

New Eurobarometer report supports the ‘Swedish Miracle’

How can the European Union continue to deny Sweden's success in tobacco harm reduction?  I have documented how Swedish snus has contributed to that country's world-record-low rates of …

E-cigarettes ‘far, far safer’ than tobacco

The statements of Terry Towne in your recent article “Butt out: If you’ve got ’em, don’t light ’em,” (May 28) are wrong. Although Ms. Towne is to be …

Testimony to City of Sonoma on e-cigarette flavoring

Mayor Cook, ladies and gentlemen of the council, my name is Ian Adams and I am the Western region director of the R Street Institute. Thank you for …

Smoke-free tobacco can save lives

While our federal government dreams of a tobacco-free society, 42 million Americans continue to smoke cigarettes and nearly half a million die each year. That’s 1,300 smoker deaths …

E-cigarettes are a friend to public health

Delaware lawmakers are now considered H.B. 5, a bill that would ban e-cigarette use everywhere smoking is prohibited. Experience as a public health physician has taught me to …

Nitzkin testimony on Delaware HB 5

My name is Joel Nitzkin. I am a public health physician, board certified in preventive medicine as my medical specialty. I have been a local health director, a state …

Coalition statement on World Press Freedom Day

On May 3, the United Nations will celebrate “World Press Freedom Day,” even though the organization has an abysmal track record of press freedom. In October last year, at …

Letter on e-cigarette provisions of Minnesota tax bill

I am a public health physician who advises the R Street Institute on tobacco-related policy. Detail on my background and how I got to where I am today …

E-cigarette taxes aren’t the answer to Louisiana’s budget woes

Louisiana is facing a $1.6 billion deficit, according to the most recent estimates, and state lawmakers are looking at various ways to close the deficit. One popular option among …

Reality bites the dust in new smokeless tobacco study

It’s surprising what passes for “science” in some journals today. Chemical Research in Toxicology has published a study from the University of California’s Berkeley and San Francisco campuses …

Testimony to Minnesota House Committee on Taxes

My name is Alan Smith and I serve as senior fellow and Midwest director for the R Street Institute. R Street is a nonprofit 501(c)3 institution devoted to …

More on hidden formaldehyde in e-cigarette aerosols

This letter was co-authored by Dr. Michael Siegel of the Boston University School of Public Health and Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Athens, …

R Street alarmed by FDA panel ruling on tobacco

WASHINGTON (April 13, 2015) – The R Street Institute expressed disappointment and alarm at the decision by a key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel to bar Swedish …

Key FDA panel votes down warning label change for snus

Swedish Match should not be allowed to alter the warning labels on its U.S. snus products to reflect evidence they are safer than cigarettes. That was the determination …

Testimony to California Senate Health Committee

Sen. Ed Hernandez Senate Committee on Health California State Senate Re: S.B. 140 (Leno) Electronic Cigarettes Chairman Hernandez: My name is Edward Anselm and I serve as medical director for Health Republic Insurance …

FDA must correct snus warnings

An FDA advisory committee is meeting this week to discuss a landmark proposal to correct federal health warnings that have been misleading the public for almost 30 years. Swedish …

British Medical Association misleads on e-cigarettes

Dr. George Rae, chairman of British Medical Association Northeast, made reckless comments about e-cigarettes in a March 31 BBC radio interview, available here. I highlight Rae’s most egregious …

BBC drops the ball on baseball and smokeless tobacco

It’s almost baseball season, which means it’s time for anti-tobacco extremists to start grabbing easy headlines. One especially zealous state lawmaker wants to ban smokeless tobacco by players …

Do e-cigarette ads promote vaping?

The National Cancer Institute is wasting taxpayer dollars on slanted e-cigarette research that didn’t ask or answer an obvious and important question. Consider the recent NCI-funded study by Drs. …

Sloan Kettering corrects e-cigarette study

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center researchers, led by first-author Sarah Borderud, claimed on Sept. 22, 2014, that e-cigarettes did not help cancer patients quit smoking. They based that …

Statement on e-cigarettes at FDA workshop

The attached statement on e-cigarette regulation was delivered by R Street Senior Fellow Dr. Joel Nitzkin to the March 9, 2015 FDA workshop in Hyattsville, Md. …

Conflicts of interest exposed, FDA reorganizes tobacco advisory panel

A range of obvious conflicts of interest has led to the replacement of several FDA Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee members. Federal judge Richard Leon ruled last July that …

Indiana passes e-cig regs, but stops short of vaping ban

The State of Indiana is moving to regulate e-cigarettes and the liquids used for “vaping.” The Indiana House and Senate both have passed legislation that would ban sales …

Smoking cessation: minimal impact on weight

The association of tobacco use and body weight has long been a matter of concern. In 2004, I collaborated with Swedish investigators to publish the first research on …

THR statement to Preventive Medicine 2015 conference

The attached statement on tobacco harm reduction was delivered by R Street Senior Fellow Dr. Joel Nitzkin to the Preventive Medicine 2015 conference in Atlanta, Ga., on Feb. …

R Street scholars on your podcast airwaves

R Street Executive Director Andrew Moylan sat down with the fine folks at the Through the Noise podcast to discuss, among other things, what a "think tank" is, …

Fargo forgoes facts

Two public health officials in Fargo, N.D. this week were the source of grossly misleading claims about smokeless tobacco for a local media story. Fargo public health staffers Holly …

NIH funding stifles tobacco harm reduction research and support in academia

As a pathologist working at two large medical centers, I have studied the effects of smoking on health for more than 20 years. I’ve published scores of papers …

Move to ban e-cigs stifles innovation

California lawmakers aren’t afraid of innovation, or so they say. Members of the Legislature in Sacramento will have their commitment to innovation tested this session when an attempt …

Memo to the CDC: Tell the WHOLE truth about e-cigarettes

The contrast between the spin put on youth e-cigarette use data last fall and the story told by the actual data, released last month, is startling, but not …

Letter to Oregon Legislative Assembly about HB 2546

I submit this comment and request to amend H.B. 2546 in my capacity as a public health physician and my role as senior fellow for tobacco policy with …

Portland State e-cigarette claims debunked in the New York Times

New York Times op-ed columnist Joe Nocera today knocks Portland State University researchers’ claims that e-cigarettes produce higher levels of formaldehyde than cigarettes – bogus findings that I …

New Orleans smoking ban should exclude vaping

Years after most American cities have enacted smoking bans, the City of New Orleans is poised to enact one. With a unanimous vote Jan. 22, the City Council …

Bogus research on formaldehyde in e-cig vapor

The New England Journal of Medicine this week published a letter claiming that vapor contains “hidden” formaldehyde at far higher levels than cigarettes, which made headlines worldwide. That …

Inslee’s vaping tax bad for taxpayers, public health

It is often the case that partisans of one political cause or another obscure their real motivations for the sake of expediency. Non-politicos are likely to characterize such …

Formaldehype vs. fact: Levels are far lower in e-cigarettes than In cigarettes

Researcher Naoki Kunugita at Japan’s National Institute of Public Health recently fueled anti-e-cig hysteria with this unverifiable claim: In one brand of e-cigarette the team found more than 10 …

E-cigarette denial: It just doesn’t work anymore

Recently, I attended a forum on e-cigarettes, sponsored by a political organization that wanted to educate its attendees about the devices. During the discussion, my opponent (from the …

High school seniors post largest-ever single-year decline in smoking

The Monitoring the Future survey shows that past 30-day cigarette use among 12th graders dropped from 16.3 percent in 2013 to 13.6 percent in 2014, the largest single-year …

More folly from the NY Times on snus

The New York Times has added more fuel to the anti-tobacco harm reduction fire with a Dec. 4 editorial rehashing the somewhat slanted reporting that appeared in the …

How dangerous is Swedish snus? Don’t ask the New York Times

The New York Times has published a reasonably accurate portrayal of the Swedish snus experience that I have chronicled for more than a decade. Reporters Matt Richtel and …

Britain: E-cigarettes almost exclusively used by smokers and ex-smokers

The British government has just released statistics on e-cigarette use. The Office for National Statistics reports that e-cigarettes were used by 12 percent of smokers and 5 percent …

Surgeons general say the darndest things about tobacco

Acting U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak recently tweeted: .@OxfordWords #Vape may be #WOTY but the increase in never-smoking youth using e-cigs is a not a trivial story http://t.co/mqeuIvgQRX — U.S. …

Dependence level higher with cigarettes than with smokeless tobacco

As noted previously, Drs. Karl Fagerström and Tom Eissenberg have described a continuum of dependence among tobacco and nicotine products. They concluded that cigarettes are the most dependence-producing …

Colorado smoking ban: no impact on heart attacks

As early as 2004, various medical journals published articles claiming that small-community smoking bans resulted in nearly immediate reductions in heart disease. For example, the high-profile BMJ reported …

Gateway claims aimed at e-cigarettes: counterfeit, déjà vu

In their war against e-cigarettes, government officials often claim that the devices are a gateway to smoking. CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden recently asserted that "many kids are …

Snus users’ hearts keep on ticking, not fluttering

Swedish researchers from several institutions document that snus use is not associated with atrial fibrillation (commonly known as AFib), the most common heart arrhythmia (irregular timing of the …

Federal survey data on tobacco: It’s not about the children

I have documented for several years a continuous decline in smoking rates among American teens. Rates of smoking and use of other tobacco products among teens are so …

More third-hand nicotine nonsense: From vapor?

Nicotine can be detected in a chamber after releasing vapor directly from an e-cigarette, according to a report in Nicotine and Tobacco Research by Roswell Park Cancer Institute …

CDC sees e-cigarette use at marked increase and leveling off – tortured logic

The CDC has released another "more of the same" report on e-cigarette awareness and use. The lead author is Dr. Brian King; the report appears in Nicotine & …

A modest proposal to the e-cigarette community

    At the Sept. 24, 2014 IQPC ECig USA Industry Conference in Las Vegas, I opted to abandon my previously anticipated presentation in favor of the following, based on …

The Swedish snus experience isn’t Finnished

Despite the wealth of evidence demonstrating that snus has helped thousands of Swedish men and women avoid the ravages of smoking, the European Union continues to enforce an …

Presentation to Ecig USA Industry Conference

  The attached presentation was delivered by R Street Senior Fellow Joel Nitzkin at the IQPC Ecig USA Industry Conference, held in Las Vegas, Nev. from Sept. 23-25, 2014. …

Up in smoke

Undoubtedly much to the chagrin of the former mayor, more New Yorkers are smoking these days. According to the latest data from the city’s Department of Health and …

Oral cancer scaremongering by public health officials

A range of public health leaders, who should know better, have rushed to repeat (and, with their stature, endorse) the apparently unfounded claim by baseball great Curt Schilling …

New England Journal of Medicine downplays its error in exaggerating youth e-cigarette data

Last week, the New England Journal of Medicine inflated a study of mouse brain activity with nicotine into a gateway-to-cocaine claim. This week, I report that the journal …

NEJM irresponsibly damns e-cigarettes as gateway to cocaine, based on mouse nicotine studies

The New England Journal of Medicine yesterday published an incendiary anti-e-cigarette article that tags nicotine as a gateway to cocaine use… in mice. It's another sad day for …

In the CDC-FDA e-cigarette study, ‘probably not’ is the new ‘yes’

Assume that you conducted a survey in which you posed two multiple-choice questions: "Do you think you will smoke a cigarette in the next year?" "If one of your best …

Mouth cancer facts

Baseball star Curt Schilling says he has mouth cancer that was caused by chewing tobacco. His announcement has generated considerable interest in mouth cancer, its frequency and causes. What …

North Carolina physicians endorse e-cigarettes

A survey of North Carolina physicians documents that many understand the benefit of e-cigarettes and some actively recommend that their smoking patients switch. The results were published in …

How many Americans use smokeless tobacco?

I recently described how the federal government is all thumbs when it tries to count how many Americans smoke. Further evidence of the government's ineptitude is seen in …

The tide is turning: More scientific support for e-cigarettes

E-cigarettes get a positive health review in the new issue of the journal Addiction. Quoting from the abstract: [Electronic cigarettes, EC] aerosol can contain some of the toxicants present …

Letter to Gov. Nixon on veto of tobacco harm-reduction bill

July 31, 2014   Gov. Jeremiah Nixon P.O. Box 720 Jefferson City MO 65102 Re: Veto of Missouri Senate Substitute for S.B. 841 Dear Gov. Nixon, As a public health physician, with …

New York Times’ call for marijuana legalization advances harm reduction

A milestone in the fight for harm reduction was reached on July 28, when the New York Times formally endorsed the legalization of marijuana. A Times editorial, "Repeal …

Federal judge to FDA: Tobacco advisory panel tainted by conflicts of interest

"The presence of conflicted members on [the FDA Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, TPSAC] irrevocably tainted its very composition and its work product" and "the committee's findings and …

How many Americans smoke?

I answered that question on my blog a few years ago, saying it was: Either 45.3 million or 52.7 million in 2010, depending on which federal agency does the …

Re: The gay war on smoking

Spencer Case does good work in making the case that the LGBT community in America has to pay more attention to smoking than it does. That said, I'm …

Dishonoring Tony Gwynn

The loss of American sports heroes is often accompanied by an outpouring of grief. But the death of San Diego Padre star Tony Gwynn from salivary gland cancer …

E-cigarettes: A life-saving technology or a way for tobacco companies to re-normalize smoking in American society?

  The attached study appeared in the June 30, 2014 edition of the Food and Drug Law Institute's Food and Drug Policy Forum. Electronic cigarettes, commonly referred to as "e-cigarettes," …

Swedish study: After a heart attack, quitting tobacco better than no tobacco

A recent study by Gabriel Arefalk and colleagues at the University of Uppsala in Sweden, published in the American Heart Association flagship journal Circulation, was purported by the …

The case for e-cigarettes

There are about 46 million smokers in the United States, and an estimated 480,000 deaths per year are attributed to cigarette smoking. Despite our best efforts, these numbers …

Snus nicotine lowers risk for multiple sclerosis, may be therapeutic for other nerve disorders

New research published in Multiple Sclerosis Journal and authored by Anna Hedström of Stockholm's Karolinska Institute of Environmental Medicine confirms that snus users have a significantly lower risk …

R Street urges state and local governments to take steps on e-cigarettes

WASHINGTON (June 24, 2014) – State and local governments should take steps to curb cigarette use and promote e-cigarettes as a real driver of tobacco harm reduction, said the …

E-cigarette primer for state and local lawmakers

Cigarettes kill an estimated 480,000 Americans each year. An estimated 46 million Americans smoke cigarettes, the most hazardous and most addictive of tobacco products. Despite our best efforts, …

The case in favor of e-cigarettes for tobacco harm reduction

This paper has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. A carefully structured Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) initiative, with e-cigarettes as a …

Stroke risk same for menthol and nonmenthol smokers

Dr. Nicholas Vozoris in 2012 reported that "smokers of mentholated cigarettes, and in particular women and non–African Americans, have significantly increased odds of stroke compared with nonmentholated cigarette …

R Street urges alternative approaches to proposed FDA regulations of e-cigarettes

WASHINGTON (June 17, 2014) – Alternative approaches to the proposed Food and Drug Administration regulations on e-cigarettes should be explored before final regulations are approved, said the R Street …

Comments to FDA on e-cigarette deeming regs

This note is in response to the April 2014 FDA Docket No. FDA-2014-N-0189 requesting comment on proposed regulations for extending the authority of the FDA Center on Tobacco …

Swedish Match files to change smokeless tobacco warnings

Swedish Match has filed a modified risk tobacco product application with the FDA Center for Tobacco Products. The landmark event was announced in an Associated Press story. The company …

E-cigarette TV ads: adults’ exposure much higher than kids

The June 2 edition of the journal Pediatrics features a study of e-cigarette advertising on television from 2011 to 2013. The research, led by Jennifer Duke of RTI …

Nicotine/tobacco research and policy experts endorse THR in letter to World Health Organization

Fifty-three tobacco research and policy experts from 15 countries today endorsed many of the tobacco harm reduction principles that I have advocated for 20 years. In a widely …

Mouse, rat & cell studies don’t make e-cigarettes carcinogenic

In determining what causes cancer in humans, epidemiologic and public health research is far superior to lab studies based on cells, mice or rats. While the latter can …

The New York Times plays patsy for anti-tobacco voices

In the tabloid tradition of "if it bleeds, it leads," he New York Times ignored the lack of peer review and wasted no space on critical analysis when …

The campaign against (if you can believe it) third-hand smoke

Still fresh from victories over both cigarettes and the second-hand smoke they emit, many public health advocates have turned their attention to new supposed hazards: e-cigarette "vapor" and …

FDA regulation: Defining e-cigarettes as tobacco products

The FDA has released a proposed rule to regulate "products that meet the statutory definition of 'tobacco products'…such as certain dissolvables, gels, hookah tobacco, electronic cigarettes, cigars and …

R Street comments on FDA proposed regulations on e-cigarettes

WASHINGTON (April 24, 2014) - The proposed regulations on e-cigarettes by the Food and Drug Administration released today will not require that existing products be removed from the …

Federal e-cigarette data AWOL

Americans are familiar with the census, taken every 10 years by the U.S. Census Bureau, but few are aware the bureau regularly collects information on a range of …

UCSF redefines youth smoking; Journal’s peer-review fails

The National Youth Tobacco Survey has been abused on an unprecedented scale by anti-tobacco forces.  First, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released cherry-picked data, fabricating an …

Swedish tax proposal threatens successful tobacco harm reduction

Sweden, which represents the world's best example of the population effect of tobacco harm reduction, is considering increasing its snus tax by 22%, according to the Swedish national …

NEJM fails to correct data on children’s e-cigarette use

The New England Journal of Medicine and authors of a commentary on e-cigarette use have ignored our call for correction of a substantial error regarding e-cigarette use among …

No stroke risk with snus

Swedish researchers who two years ago reported no association of heart attacks with snus use (abstract here, my blog entry here) now conclude there is no association with …

Tax smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes at lower rates

Gov. John Kasich's plan to increase taxes on all tobacco products is bad tax policy, built on an unscientific, unsuccessful anti-smoker strategy: wuit or die. Only one component of …

Smoking cessation expert to Health Canada: Stop killing smokers

Health Canada has blocked sales of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, even though the devices are readily available in the United States.  I previously commented on the agency's unfounded opposition to …

Vermont vapers cheesed off by tax proposal

The Vermont Legislature is considering a new (vastly higher) tax on e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco that would treat them very much like cigarettes. The revenue Vermont hopes to …

Clinical trial: e-cigarettes are satisfying cigarette substitutes

A clinical trial demonstrates that e-cigarettes deliver nicotine, reduce craving and satisfy vapers. The research, published in Scientific Reports, is the work of Konstantinos Farsalinos and colleagues at …

Vapers, know your e-cig ingredients: propylene glycol

A common knock against e-cigarettes is that we don't know the long-term health effects of consuming nicotine vapor.  The fact is that while it's impossible to have complete …

UCSF study falsely links e-cigarettes to smoking

Academics at the University of California San Francisco have used the 2011 and 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey to fabricate a claim that "e-cigarettes are likely to be …

Letter to Washington Legislature on e-cigarettes

Dear Speaker Chopp,­­­ In the next few days, you and your colleagues will again consider measures that impose significant new taxes on e-cigarette products and will serve to make …

Response to ANR fact sheet: Electronic cigarettes and secondary aerosol

This note is in response to the so-called “fact sheet” entitled “Electronic Cigarettes and Secondhand Aerosol” produced by Americans for Nonsmokers Rights (ANR) February 20, 2014 [1] in …

Tobacco harm reduction endorsed in New England Journal of Medicine

In late January, the New England Journal of Medicine published a ringing endorsement of tobacco harm reduction.  The authors of "Smoke, The Chief Killer – Strategies for Targeting …

Poisoning public health issues: Chapter 2

Three years ago I discussed an unfounded claim by Harvard University's Dr. Gregory Connolly that smokeless tobacco products are a major cause of poisoning among American children.  A …

Nitzkin on Oregon’s proposed e-cigarette ban

R Street's Dr. Joel Nitzkin testified yesterday before the Oregon Legislature regarding bills that would ban sales of e-cigarettes to minors and ban their use in areas where …

CVS abandons tobacco and reason

Tobacco control advocates have for years pressured pharmacies to stop selling tobacco. Today, CVS, the nation's second-largest drugstore chain, announced it will end all tobacco product sales effective …

Exploiting the 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General’s report on smoking

Fifty years ago, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry issued a landmark report describing the health risks of cigarette smoking. Tobacco prohibitionists are using the anniversary to promote onerous …

BMJ editorial: Holding the line for ignorance

The British Medical Journal grossly erred in its Jan. 2 commentary "Hold the line against tobacco" by Editor Dr. Fiona Godlee. BMJ asserts that e-cigarettes pose a "grave risk …

Nitzkin on the benefits of e-cigarettes

Oklahoma City's KFOR NewsChannel 4 carried this report on the Jan. 21 joint hearing of the Oklahoma Senate Committee on Health and Human Services and the Oklahoma House …

R Street encourages Oklahoma to explore tobacco harm reduction

OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 22, 2014) – Lawmakers should avoid public health policies that perpetuate the myth that that all tobacco and nictotine products present a similar risk of …

Smokers can turn to safer smoke-free tobacco products

Kentucky State Police report that traffic fatalities in 2013 fell to 635 — down 15 percent from the year before and the lowest count since 1947. Lower traffic …

High school seniors’ tobacco use: another year in decline

Smoking by teens has declined to record-low levels, according to the latest University of Michigan annual Monitoring the Future Study, which examines youth tobacco, alcohol and drug use …

NYU to e-cigarette users: Cigarettes are healthier

I have noted in the past how prestigious organizations sometimes spew misinformation about the risks of smokeless tobacco; I have been especially critical of individuals representing the Mayo …

Do e-cigarettes cause passive vaping?

"Passive smoking" has been hotly contested. Is there a case for "passive vaping?" Hardly. A detailed study of e-cigarette vapor by German investigators at the Fraunhofer Wilhelm-Klauditz Institute's Department …

Letter to the South Carolina PEBA Tobacco Surcharge Study Committee

PEBA Tobacco Surcharge Study Committee c/o Communications Department PO Box 11661, Columbia, SC 29211-1661 Dec. 26, 2013 Members of the Committee: My name is Eli Lehrer and I am president of the R …

R Street disappointed by NYC e-cigarette ban

NEW YORK (Dec. 19, 2013) – The R Street Institute expressed disappointment with today's vote by the New York City Council to ban the use of electronic cigarettes …

Legacy tells the truth, THR revolution gains momentum

After 20 years of staunch opposition to and misinformation about tobacco harm reduction from anti-tobacco forces, one prominent figure has broken ranks, offering the truth and a cautious …

The CDC abuses the facts about e-cigarettes – Part II

In a previous post, I noted false and misleading information in a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention press release about e-cigarette use by youth. The CDC reported …

The CDC abuses the facts about e-cigarettes, part I

The headline on the Centers for Disease Control's Sept. 5 press release was dire: "E-cigarette use more than doubles among U.S. middle and high school students from 2011-2012."  …

Letter to U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

This memo urges USPSTF to expand their consideration of options for smoking cessation to include tobacco harm reduction, alternative health education interventions not involving use of pharmaceuticals, and …

R Street warns NYC e-cigarette ban would be harmful to public health

NEW YORK (Dec. 4, 2013) – The New York City Council should consider the potential adverse effects on public health should it move forward with a proposal to …

What the EU snus ban means: 290,865 casualties per year

A Nov. 12 e-cigarette summit at the Royal Society in London featured a range of views on European prospects for these new products. Tobacco harm reduction proponents included Clive …

Australia: tobacco control and bootlegger paradise

Australia is the darling of anti-tobacco extremists.  They tout that country as the model for draconian cigarette regulation and taxation.  Australia imposed mandatory plain packaging last December and …

R Street paper looks into the promise of e-cigarettes for tobacco harm reduction

WASHINGTON (Nov. 21, 2013) -- The Food and Drug Administration and other public health authorities should look to the promise of e-cigarettes as a vehicle for tobacco harm …

The promise of e-cigarettes for tobacco harm reduction

Nicotine vaporizers, usually referred to as e-cigarettes, show substantial promise as a vehicle for tobacco harm reduction (THR). Skyrocketing sales of e-cigarettes, consumer advocacy for these products, and …

Misinformation from federal officials, 2013 edition

"See, in my line of work," said President George W. Bush in 2005, "you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth …

Common sense solution for indoor vaping

E-cigarettes are gaining traction as legitimate harm-reduction alternatives for cigarette smokers, but one nagging question persists: should vaping be permitted in interior public spaces? With few exceptions, indoor smoking …

The scientific evidence for e-cigarettes

I am honored to join Drs. Riccardo Polosa and Pasquale Caponnetto and their colleagues at the University of Catania in Italy as a coauthor of a new scientific …

A directory of tobacco harm reduction experts for inquiring media

Mass media are in complete denial of the voluminous scientific literature supporting e-cigarettes as harm-reduction products.  A recent report on National Public Radio is representative.  The host set …

The hazards of hookah

One of the hot trends in tobacco use is waterpipe smoking (the terms hookah, narghile or shisha are also used). Hookah bars are located throughout the United States, …

Letter to Kathleen Sebelius and Richard Durbin on e-cigarette flavoring

Dear Secretary Sebelius and Senator Durbin: I write to you as a public health physician self-employed as a policy consultant. I have been a local health director, state health …

The e-cigarette as ‘genuine competitor’ – Czech survey

A survey of smokers in the Czech Republic shows that e-cigarettes "may develop into a genuine competitor to conventional cigarettes." The lead author of the study, which was …

Letter to Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health

Oct. 1, 2013 Sen. John F. Keenan, Senate Chair Joint Committee on Public Health General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Boston, Massachusetts Dear Chairman Keenan, My name is Eli Lehrer and I am …

Massachusetts’ e-cigarette ban would not improve public health

BOSTON, Mass. (Oct. 1, 2013) – A statewide ban on the indoor use of electronic cigarettes could actually do more harm than good for the commonwealth's public health, …

Snus saving Swedish smokers’ lives as tobacco consumption declines

New research confirms earlier findings demonstrating that widespread snus use is tied to reduced rates of smoking. A decade ago I worked with scientists from Sweden's Umeå University to …

Nicotine safety

I have asserted for some 20 years that nicotine, while addictive, is otherwise without significant adverse health effects outside of pregnancy. It is, in other words, safe to …

Clinical trial shows e-cigarettes as good as the patch to quit smoking

Newly published research shows that e-cigarettes are about as effective as nicotine patches in helping smokers quit. That should (but won't) silence critics who insist that e-cigarettes are …

R Street disappointed by Duluth e-cigarette ban

DULUTH, Minn. (Sept. 10, 2013) – An e-cigarrette ban approved yesterday by the Duluth City Council will have the practical effect of reinforcing tobacco cigarettes as the dominant …

Irresponsible e-cigarette theatrics from federal officials

The anti-tobacco movement continues to ignore evidence that millions worldwide have switched from smoke to vapor.  Witness yesterday's press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: …

CDC survey on e-cigarettes asks the wrong questions

WASHINGTON (Sept. 5, 2013) -- New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing an uptick in the number of teens who have used electronic cigarettes …

Duluth e-cigarette ban would be damaging to public health

DULUTH, Minn. (Sept. 4, 2013) – Exhaled e-cigarette vapor presents no threat to non-users that would justify banning their use in indoor or outdoor spaces, R Street Senior …

Statement from Dr. Joel Nitzkin on Duluth e-cigarette ordinances

The attached letter to the City Council of Duluth, Minn. is in response to introduced ordinances that would extend restrictions on smoking in indoor and outdoor areas to …

Measuring smokers’ preferences for smokeless tobacco products

Most of America's 45 million smokers have never considered switching to a smokeless tobacco product.  They have plenty of options, but we have little information about smokers' product …

The tainted legacy of tobacco prohibitionism

On Aug. 19, David Abrams and Julia Cartwright wrote an article for the Huffington Post entitled "What's wrong with this picture?" Alas, Dr. Abrams and Ms. Cartwright are …

Fabricating a smoking gateway

A Harvard School of Public Health report claims, according to Reuters, "most young people in the United States who use newer smokeless tobacco products are smoking cigarettes." In …

Federal officials endorse impossibly high standard for e-cigarettes

National Public Radio host Diane Rehm on Aug. 5 discussed "Smoking in America Today" with Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the Office of Smoking and Health at the …

Three must-read articles supporting tobacco harm reduction

These outstanding recent publications belong in every tobacco harm reduction library. 1.  Dr. Lynn Kozlowski on e-cigarettes Kozlowski, dean of the School of Public Health at the University at Buffalo, …

FDA finds insufficient evidence to justify menthol ban

The FDA Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee in 2011 reported that menthol had a negative impact on public health.  This week, the FDA released its Preliminary Scientific Evaluation …

Clinical trial shows e-cigarettes can aid in smoking cessation

A new clinical trial provides clear evidence that e-cigarettes are effective in helping smokers quit or reduce cigarette consumption.  The results were published in PLoS One by Pasquale …

Effect of snus use on newborn birth weights? Real, but very small

Three years ago, I discussed several Swedish studies reporting that pregnant women who use snus are at risk for: Slightly smaller babies, premature delivery and preeclampsia (here); and Premature birth …

Censorship by the Norwegian Health Directorate

Global health authorities have zero tolerance for tobacco use. Worse, they have zero tolerance for any rational discussion of tobacco harm reduction. Last year, the health directorate of Norway …

Tobacco harm reduction: Hope in the US, despair in Europe

In my commentary, “The Electronic Future of Cigarettes,” published last week in The Atlantic,  I described "a radical transformation in the way our society uses tobacco…as tobacco consumers …

Alternative tobacco products aid in smoking cessation

In May, Dr. Lucy Popova and Dr. Pamela Ling coauthored “Alternative Tobacco Product Use and Smoking Cessation: A National Study.”  It appeared in the May issue of the …

The electronic future of cigarettes

We are on the cusp of a radical transformation in the way our society uses tobacco. Cigarette consumption is in substantial, protracted decline as tobacco consumers switch to …

British government promotes cigarettes

The United Kingdom will regulate all nicotine-containing products, including e-cigarettes, as medicines, starting in 2016. The British bureaucrats justified their decision: "Our research has shown that existing electronic cigarettes and …

The disastrous failure of smoking cessation medicines

The 20-year-old Cochrane Collaboration is widely recognized for compiling and analyzing thousands of clinical trials,  providing health professionals with useful information, in the form of authoritative analyses and …

FDA lifts restrictions on OTC nicotine replacement therapies

In a truly stunning announcement, April 1, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced its intention to lift many restrictions on labeling of over-the-counter Nicotine Replacement Therapy drugs; allow …

Alcohol vs. tobacco: State penalties for underage possession diverge

In their efforts to prevent teen smoking, tobacco control advocates focus almost exclusively on tobacco manufacturers. For example, a CDC press release for World No Tobacco Day (today, …

Trace metals in e-cigarettes: No cause for concern

I have discussed a study reporting that smokeless tobacco contains trace levels of several metals, including cadmium, arsenic, nickel, chromium and lead.  Now, researchers at the University of …

Regulating, taxing e-cigarettes

As previously noted here, e-cigarettes are winning over American smokers.  E-cigs' vapor of nicotine, water and propylene glycol is vastly safer than smoke, and these products satisfy smokers' …

New York City: Prohibition prison

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 2003 prison smoking ban produced a pervasive black market, where single cigarettes cost inmates $30, and a pack runs as high as $200, …

Snus and moist snuff may be protective against dental cavities

One of the longstanding federal warnings on smokeless tobacco is: "This product can cause gum disease and tooth loss."  This warning has no scientific basis. I previously discussed a …

What’s the takeaway from snus?

A new study from British American Tobacco scientists answers that fascinating question, providing valuable information for consumers and regulators. Snus contains nicotine and other constituents that make tobacco satisfying, …

The American Cancer Society’s anti-tobacco campaign ignores its own research

The American Cancer Society continues to misinform smokers about vastly safer options.  With chapters in nearly every county across the nation, the ACS is a powerful tobacco harm …

Dual use, double standard

Tobacco harm reduction opponents have myriad rationales for withholding from smokers vital information about safer products.  One common objection is that smokers will become dual users (of both …

FDA lifts restrictions on OTC nicotine replacement therapies

In a truly stunning announcement, last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced its intention to lift many restrictions on labeling of over-the-counter Nicotine Replacement Therapy drugs; …

Misperceiving nicotine health risks

My research group published survey data in 2010 documenting that a highly educated population (faculty at the University of Louisville) misperceived the health risks of smokeless tobacco use …

Tobacco harm reduction: A (state) capital idea

When I published my book on tobacco harm reduction in 1995, Dr. Dean Edell described my strategy as "credible, logical and eminently do-able." Risk expert W. Kip Viscusi …

Nicotine increases exercise endurance

In my lectures on tobacco harm reduction, I compare the properties of nicotine with those of caffeine (see slides at left).  Despite some obvious differences, the drugs have …

Dialogue, stakeholders and the future of tobacco control

In a Jan. 31 BMJ blog post, Dr. Ruth Malone, editor of Tobacco Control, excoriated the Food and Drug Administration for proposing "facilitated dialogue" with the "tobacco industry." …

R Street paper urges states to explore new approaches to tobacco control

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 14, 2013) --As state lawmakers continue to weigh policies intended to encourage smokers to quit and discourage teens from picking up the habit, more attention …

Reducing smoking: A guide for state policy makers

PDF Download Text A review of public health literature related to smoking cessation suggests smoking bans and efforts to stop minors from smoking can be very effective. They …

American Dental Association improves mouth cancer and smokeless tobacco brochures

I have been critical of the American Dental Association’s distribution of misinformation about smokeless tobacco and tobacco harm reduction (discussed here and here).  New ADA brochures on mouth …

A response to ‘Stubbing Out Cigarettes for Good’

Earlier this month, the New York Times published and op-ed penned by Richard Daynard of Northeastern University titled “Stubbing out Cigarettes for Good.” Professor Daynard is president of …

Truthful ‘action’ on e-cigarettes in the United Kingdom

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), a British "campaigning public health charity that works to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco," has published a landmark report on e-cigarettes …

Imagining tobacco without nicotine, chapter 2

A Feb. 23 Winston-Salem Journal article about Mitch Zeller, the new director of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products, reported that “Brad Rodu, a professor of medicine at …

Smoking, but not smokeless tobacco, associated with past-year psychiatric disorders

Compared with the general population, smokers have elevated rates of psychiatric problems, and affected smokers tend to consume more cigarettes, inhale more deeply and quit less often (evidence …

Smokers are routinely misinformed

Kevin Nelson’s criticism of Utah politicians and the American Legislative Exchange Council included egregious distortions and demonstrably false statements ("Utah’s Children are not up for sale" Feb. 5). The …

Making the European case for snus

The Parliament magazine, which covers European Union news, politics and public policy, just published a special supplement on snus. The supplement, underwritten by the Swedish Food Federation and …

FDA: Adverse events related to e-cigarettes are almost nonexistent

The FDA Center for Tobacco Products’s Dr. Ii-Lun Chen describes in Nicotine and Tobacco Research adverse events related to e-cigarettes reported to the agency from 2008 to the …

How smokers will tell us if Obamacare is working

Cigarette smoking, to say the least, poses serious and well-known health risks. Stern public health warnings about the dangers of tobacco have been issued just about everywhere since …

A call to action

I am not inclined toward political action, but I am inspired by Clive Bates’s call to action against the European Union’s appalling new tobacco directive.  Americans should take …

A ‘news’ study on smokeless tobacco

A study published this month in Nicotine and Tobacco Research provides evidence that coverage of smokeless tobacco (ST) in the context of tobacco harm reduction was infrequent and …

Comment to FDA on e-cigarettes: A public health perspective and plea for common sense

If properly regulated and promoted, e-cigarettes have the potential to substantially reduce risk of tobacco-attributable illness among current smokers; enhance future total abstinence from tobacco use; and do …

Finally, U.S. official admits that smoking deaths are declining

Dr. Phil Cole and I asserted in 2008 that smoking-related deaths in the United States were on the decline. Finally, this month, a Food and Drug Administration official …

Overweight and low mortality

Last week, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a meta-analysis documenting that being "overweight was associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality.” The study was authored by …

High school seniors’ tobacco use pales in comparison to alcohol

Smoking by teens has declined to record-low levels, according to the latest University of Michigan annual Monitoring the Future Study, which examines youth tobacco, alcohol and drug use …

R Street policy on tobacco harm reduction

Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) is a policy and process by which smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit smoking are enabled and encouraged to switch to a …

FDA inaction strengthens cigarette market supremacy

Two weeks ago, Michael Felberbaum of the Associated Press published an interesting story, "FDA review of tobacco products grinds to a halt," about how the Food and Drug …

The e-cigarette revolution

Richard Craver, a writer for the Winston-Salem Journal, recently described the growing popularity of e-cigarettes.  Bonnie Herzog, a Wells Fargo security analyst who has followed the tobacco industry …

Snus is the leading smoking cessation aid for Swedish men and women

A Swedish population-based survey documents that "snus continues to be the most frequently reported cessation aid among male smokers” and “[u]se of snus at the latest quit attempt …

Big Tobacco advertising and promotion do not drive consumption

One of the longstanding fallacies promoted by the anti-tobacco movement is that tobacco use is solely driven by advertising and marketing by large multinational companies, also known as …

Secondhand smoke and mirrors

As I discussed over a year ago, claims that smoking bans result in enormous declines in hospitalizations for heart attacks (acute myocardial infarction, AMI) are largely based on …

Jane Brody and the New York Times: Counting smokers badly

Jane Brody falsely reported in her Nov. 12 New York Times “Personal Health” column that, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the smoking …

Tobacco trick or treat by Florida’s surgeon general

On Halloween, Dr. John Armstrong, Florida surgeon general and secretary of health, launched an attack on flavored tobacco, ostensibly to protect children (I expressed concern three years ago …

Nicotine levels in American smokeless tobacco products

Nicotine levels in smokeless tobacco products available in the U.S. in 2006 and 2007 were analyzed by scientists at RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co.  I previously discussed other analyses …

E-cigarettes prove effective for smoking cessation

The scientific foundation for tobacco harm reduction is well established.  My comprehensive reviews of the evidence in 2006 and 2011 were based on 279 articles published primarily in …

Low trace metal levels in American smokeless tobacco products mean no significant health risk

I previously discussed a comprehensive chemical analysis of smokeless tobacco products conducted by M.F. Borgerding and colleagues at RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. and published in Regulatory Toxicology and …

Louisville professor: Smoke-free option is one Oklahoma should consider to reduce tobacco harm

A quit-smoking strategy with “the potential to save millions of lives” will be the subject of an Oklahoma legislative hearing Wednesday. At issue will be tobacco harm reduction, …

Dual use and smoking suppression

Norway has proven that the Swedish tobacco experience can be duplicated in other countries where smokeless tobacco is used (discussed earlier here and here).  Karl Erik Lund, from …

An absorbing nicotine lesson

Nicotine uptake from snus, cigarettes and medicinal gum varies significantly, new research shows.   Helena Digard of British American Tobacco is lead author on the work, joined by colleagues from …

Snus prohibition in the EU

Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports that the European Commission’s health directorate has proposed a ban on the export of Swedish snus. Sweden’s government has been quietly urging the European …

What a difference the truth makes: Researchers say government needs to get smokers facts about smokeless tobacco

A new study reveals that telling smokers the truth about smokeless tobacco corrects their misperceptions and increases the likelihood of their trying smokeless products to quit smoking.   Lead author …

Pipe smoking and health

Health risks associated with cigar smoking are lower than those for cigarette smoking, reflecting a lower exposure to smoke toxicants (see my earlier post here).  The same holds …

E-cigarette awareness and use

American Legacy Foundation staff, led by Dr. Jennifer Pearson, reported two surveys gauging awareness, use and perceptions of e-cigarettes.  The research was published in the American Journal of …

Federal warnings undermine smokeless tobacco harm reduction messages

I recently discussed research showing that warnings on smokeless tobacco (ST or SLT) products discourage smokers from switching, while messages describing risk differentials between ST products and cigarettes …

The surprising economic effects of smoking and quitting

Anti-tobacco forces often argue that smokers are a burden on the American economy.  When Congress debated FDA tobacco regulation in 2009, the White House advised that tobacco use …

The health risks of cigar smoking

Cigarette smoking risks are well known, but cigars are also combustible tobacco products.  Do cigars present the same health risks as cigarettes?   Researchers from the Kaiser Medical Care Program, …

Brad Rodu on the ‘third way’ for America’s smokers

Click the video above to listen to the full audio of R Street Institute Associate Fellow Brad Rodu discussing tobacco harm reduction earlier this year on WKU, a …

R Street-Heartland paper looks at how insurers treat tobacco

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 12, 2012) -- As a growing number of former smokers turn to nicotine replacement therapies, e-cigarettes and certain other forms of smokeless tobacco, state and …

How should insurers treat tobacco use?: A review of the research

Co-published by R Street and the Heartland Institute, this paper explores a growing body of data, including several studies from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, finding that certain …

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