7: The War Against Electronic Cigarettes: The Opposition to the Devices

VAPING GUIDE: Chapter 7: The War Against Electronic Cigarettes: The Opposition to the Devices 

ASH
ASH has two branches: ASH UK and ASH US. ASK UK is a supporter of the use of electronic cigarettes. This branch of the organization has openly stated its beliefs that electronic cigarettes do not pose the same health risks as tobacco cigarettes. ASH US, on the other hand, does not share the same views. ASH US is opposed to the use of electronic cigarettes and openly criticizes them.
ASH representative John Banzhaf is a fierce opponent of electronic cigarettes. He has the following views on e-cigarettes and smoking:
  • Likens smokers to child abusers and child murderers.
  • Smokers should be treated as criminals and should be charged and tried as murderers. 
  • In certain states, they should face the death penalty.
  • Supporters of e-cigarettes use unproven, scientific claims to prove that e-cigarettes are better than tobacco cigarettes. 
  • A falsehood that separates children from their parents.
  • Does not support life-saving medical procedures for former smokers.
John Banzhaf
John fails to realize the fact that eliminating cigarettes is not the answer. Cigarette smokers suffer from an addiction. Taking away cigarettes will cause more harm than good. The removal of cigarettes can even lead to social harm and suicide. John, and organizations that share a similar opinion, want to remove electric cigarettes from the market. They do not see e-cigarettes as products that can help with smoking cessation, or as a less-harmful, tobacco alternative. John and others, like Senator Lautenberg, there should be not alternative to tobacco smoking.
Senator Lautenberg
Senator Lautenberg was an active supporter of protecting people from the harmful effects of tobacco smoking. He is responsible for advocating and writing laws that banned smoking on airplanes. This legislation was the beginning of the smoke-free revolution. Senator Lautenberg is also responsible for writing a law that prohibits smoking in public places that serve children. In 2009, Senator Frank Lautenberg asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to halt the sale of electronic cigarettes in the United States until they were ruled safe for consumption.

What Truly Motivates the Opponents of Electronic Cigarettes?

There is plenty of evidence that shows that organizations and individuals that do not support electronic cigarettes benefit financially from their stance on the issue. The financial reports of Pfizer, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, shows that anti-smoking groups were compensated for supporting groups that oppose the use of electronic cigarettes. 
Chantix is a drug that helps with smoking cessation. If electronic cigarettes exist, smoking cessation drugs like Chantix would face strong competition. To further their agenda, in 2011, Pfizer donated $2.8 million to eight anti-smoking organizations that supported the removal of electronic cigarettes from retail stores. The financial incentives, provided by pharmaceutical companies to opposing electronic cigarettes are never revealed by those organizations.
According to the Rest of the Story, the following eight organizations received money from Pfizer in 2011 and 2012:
  • American Lung Association: Receive $190,250
  • American Heart Association: Received $136,000
  • Action on Smoking and Health: Received $200,000
  • American Medical Association: Received $857,000
  • American Cancer Society: Received $252,750
  • American Academy of Pediatrics : Received $720,800
  • American Legacy Foundation: Received $300,000
  • Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids: Received $100,000
  • Total Amount of Money Received: $2,757,300
The numbers show how detrimental corporate financial interests can be to the prosperity of products. 
Because electronic cigarettes are on the road to success, the previously mentioned organizations, along with many others, are actively trying to threaten that position. They all receive financial contributions from pharmaceutical companies that have an interest in the success of their smoking cessation drugs. Drugs that are threatened the competition provided by electronic cigarettes.
Financial interest is the real reason pharmaceutical manufacturers seek out organizations that are willing to speak out against e-cigarettes; a product that helps smokers quit the habit. It should be no surprise to know that Senator Lautenberg, who wants electronic cigarettes removed from the market, has received $128,250 from pharmaceutical companies.
Senators are not the only ones who receive money from drug manufacturers. US public health organizations also receive funding to oppose the sale of electronic cigarettes. They are actively paid to oppose any product that is in direct competition to smoking cessation drugs.
ASH US, another group that opposes the use of electronic cigarettes, also received money from Pfizer. In total, they have received $47 million. Pfizer, the manufacturer that created Champix and Chantix, will fund anyone willing to support their position. Ironically, Pfizer’s drugs had resulted in more deaths than the use of electronic cigarettes.
Yes, electronic cigarettes do contain nicotine. However, a distinction needs to be made between the ways electronic cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes are smoked. Electronic cigarettes do not pose the same risks as regular ones. E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco and do not burn. Anyone that has a problem with the use of nicotine should also take issue with the addition of caffeine in products like Red Bull and coffee. 
There is a clear bias in the way corporations work to demonize certain products in an attempt to promote their own interests; especially ones they see as a threat. The smoking cessation products manufactured by pharmaceutical companies are not as popular as electronic cigarettes. This is the motivation behind spending millions of dollars to promote the inaccurate, harmful effects of e-cigarettes. These companies are not truly concerned about the general public, just their profit margin.

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