In 1994, I published the first professional medical articles documenting that smokeless tobacco contained satisfying doses of nicotine (in the Journal of the American Dental Association, here) and was vastly safer than smoking (in Nature, here), and I proposed “that smokeless tobacco be recommended as a cigarette substitute by persons who cannot stop smoking.” (in the American Journal of the Medical Sciences, here).
My scientific articles drew massive opposition. The National Cancer Institute investigated my university, claiming that my strategy was unethical (documented in Jacob Sullum’s excellent book, For Your Own Good, available here) as other medical groups launched vicious attacks.
One fact was beyond contradiction: Smokeless tobacco use was at least 98% safer than smoking. While scientific evidence for tobacco harm reduction was overwhelming, smokers were completely uninformed about the lifesaving option of switching to a smoke-free delivery system. This led me, in 1995, to address smokers directly with a book, “For Smokers Only: How Smokeless Tobacco Can Save Your Life.”
Recognizing the continuing relevance of this groundbreaking work, publisher Rick Newcombe of Sumner Books has just released it as an e-book, updated with a bonus chapter on e-cigarettes. From exaggerated health scares to bogus gateway claims, opponents of e-cigarettes are using the same tactics they’ve used against other smokeless tobacco products for decades.
Dr. Dean Edell, physician and host of an award-winning health radio program for 31 years (here), described For Smokers Only as “credible, logical and eminently do-able.”
The FDA Tobacco Product website offers as an example of “Health Fraud” (here) the suggestion “that a tobacco product is safer, less harmful, contains a reduced level or is free of a harmful substance, or presents a lower risk of tobacco-related disease compared to other tobacco products…To date, no tobacco products have met the requirements that would permit them (sic) to make claims of reduced risk or harm to users and nonusers of their regulated tobacco products.”
Applying that absurd definition, I have been conducting health fraud for 20 years.