Atlanta, Georgia — May 3, 2018
According to the National Tobacco Reform Initiative, misperceptions that nicotine is the harmful part of tobacco are one of the biggest barriers to encouraging adult smokers to switch to nicotine products that do not burn.Nicotine doesn’t cause cancer and, in small doses, may contribute minimally to cardio-vascular disease. In contrast, cigarette smoke contains 7,000+ chemicals, including carbon monoxide and 69 known carcinogens, and causes almost half a million premature deaths in Americans every year.
The steady drum beat of fear and panic about nicotine containing e-cigarettes from public health and medical authorities calling for strong action to stem an imagined epidemic of nicotine addiction plaguing our youth, leaves many adult smokers confused while they continue to smoke. A balance must be found between protecting our young people, and helping smokers end their use of a deadly burning tobacco product by switching to substantially safer alternatives, if they cannot or do not want to quit using nicotine altogether.
According to David Abrams, Ph.D. of the NYU College of Global Health and Former Director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Science (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, :the NTRI believes our fundamental health goal is to eliminate the #1 totally preventable cause of death in the U.S. — cigarette smoking — and the evidence shows that e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit or switch.”
Abrams added “While nicotine is not harmless, it is urgent and critical the public, especially smokers, be better informed about the substantial reductions in total health risks that arise from smoking compared to vaping e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and other nicotine containing harm-reduction products such as FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) like patches, gum and lozenges.”
NTRI member, Scott Ballin, health policy consultant, Former Vice President and Legislative Counsel to the American Heart Association, who has spented 40 years working on tobacco-related policy issues, says that “innovative new products demand that all stakeholders should work together to provide the public with truthful and accurate information about the substantially different risks of combusted and non-combusted nicotine containing products. Governmental agencies, such as the FDA and CDC, national tobacco control organizations and healthcare professionals have ethical responsibilities to do so loudly and often.” “It is unfortunate”, he says, “that the real losers are the millions of addicted smokers who do not perceive much difference in health risk between smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes, nicotine medications and cigarettes.”
The National Tobacco Reform Initiative is led by a team of independent senior tobacco control experts committed to facilitate open and evidence-based discussions about the most effective ways to reduce the prevalence of adult smokers to 10% by the year 2024, an interagency-approved goal, and to 5% or lower by 2030.
Further details on the NTRI’s mission and priority actions, its Leadership Team and Advisory Group, can be found on the Web Site —http://www.tobaccoreform.org.
David Abrams, Ph.D., and Scott Ballin are available for interviews on this Press Release, and to answer any questions.
For David Abrams:
contact Rachel Harrison,
Senior Public Affairs Officer,
New York University (212-998-6797)
rachel.harrison@nyu.edu;
For Scott Ballin (202-258-2419).