Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Say Goodbye to the American Cancer Society

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.

The letter, from an ACS volunteer, thanks the council for the ban and parrots standard exaggerations and falsehoods: e-cigs deliver toxic formaldehyde in higher amounts than smoke, threaten children’s health and don’t help smokers quit.

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. 


Anonymous said...

100% agree the science is out there proving that vaping is much safer than tobacco.

Karyyl said...

Even my friends who are angry at ACS still want to donate to them because they believe that is the only place to donate if we want to see a cure for cancer. I have trouble believing that is true. But IMO we need to identify who is REALLY fighting cancer (instead of promoting it like ACS is by trying to STOP people from avoiding cancerous combustible cigarettes) because people who have lost loved ones to cancer no more want to give up the fight against cancer than we want to give up the right to get away from combustibles.