You’re probably not familiar with Jordan, Minnesota, a town of 5,500 southwest of the Twin Cities. The Jordan city council voted a few weeks ago to ban e-cigarette use indoors and at public gatherings. Local governments throughout the U.S. are taking similar action, most of which is influenced by a sophisticated misinformation campaign. A July 11 letter in the Jordan Independent (here) perfectly illustrates the role of the American Cancer Society as a principal driver of the effort to deny smokers information about and access to safer cigarette substitutes.
I have written extensively about the 30-year ACS smokeless tobacco misinformation campaign (here, here, here, here, here). Now that organization is using the same tactics against e-cigarettes. ACS volunteers nationwide follow a script that demonizes all forms of tobacco, the companies that market them and the people who consume them.
In Jordan, the local vaping community responded quickly to the ACS misinformation, with one commenting online: “Read some current studies, I cannot believe you are wasting money on nonsense. Say goodbye to our donations.”
According to Charity Navigator, the American Cancer Society in 2013 received $878 million in contributions – nearly a billion dollars for their perceived fight against cancer. In reality, a good portion of that largess was squandered on their dishonest and harmful tobacco prohibition crusade.
Last month, the Washington Times reported that the National Institutes of Health “spent $2 million [in research over three years] to have wives nag men about chewing tobacco” I was quoted in the story, saying that’s a case of “big government intervention for a small-risk lifestyle choice.” I have documented that the NIH is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on “research” to counter tobacco harm reduction (here). While there is little that can be done to stop this misuse of taxpayer dollars, pressure can be brought against the American Cancer Society.
It is time for tobacco users, their families and friends to send a message to the American Cancer Society: “Say goodbye to our donations.” Tell ACS volunteers in your community that the society must acknowledge scientific facts and abandon its tobacco prohibition stance. Until the ACS tells the truth about tobacco harm reduction, charitable contributions should be directed elsewhere.