Monday, May 10, 2021

THR Discussion With Christopher Balkaran on a Strong and Free Podcast


I recently had an interview with Christopher Balkaran, the talented Canadian producer of the Strong and Free Podcast.  Christopher is currently exploring tobacco harm reduction, and he gave me ample time to discuss many aspects of safer tobacco products.  My interview is available here.  If you are especially interested in any of the following topics, I’ve listed the times for quick access.  

1.  Why I jumped from a conventional academic career into tobacco harm reduction research and policy…without a parachute.  At 0:45 to 1:40 minutes

2.  One of my main goals: to correct purposeful misinformation about tobacco products, serving the dream of a “tobacco-free society,” that has misled even medical professionals, including me. At 2:20 to 3:55 minutes

3.  I affirmed my opposition to any drug use by adolescents.  At 5:10 to 6:05 minutes

4.  How harm reduction can help smokers, regardless whether they are unable or unwilling to abstain completely from nicotine and tobacco.  Harm reduction… including this advocate…does not judge smokers.  At 7:10 to  and 24:50 to 25:45

5.  How nicotine is no more dangerous than caffeine.  At 8:15 to 9:10 minutes. 

6. How millions of people enjoy using nicotine and tobacco and derive significant benefits; the danger is in the delivery system, smoke versus smoke-free.  At 9:50 to 11:50.

7.  The history of tobacco use dates back long before Columbus “discovered” America.  At 13:25 to 14:25.8.  The campaign to prohibit all nicotine and tobacco didn’t start with e-cigarettes and vape products.  It started in the 1980s when the reputation of smokeless tobacco use was irrevocably ruined by specious claims.  At 15:35 to 17:15

9.  For prohibitionists, all tobacco products aren’t just dangerous, they are evil.  Those claims are now institutionalized by U.S. FDA regulation, which requires tobacco companies to be absolutely silent about their products unless they can prove that they are safer than cigarettes.  At 17:15 to 18:40

10.  “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.”  Why offering smokers safer substitutes has mattered to me since childhood.  At 21:20 to 23:40

11.  My work to bring to a worldwide audience the “Swedish Experience” with snus use, which has resulted in the lowest smoking-related mortality among men in the developed world. At 27:15 to 36:10

12.  The emerging IQOS heat-not-burn tobacco success story in Japan shows us how a world-class case of corporate self-cannibalization in the free-market setting could save millions of lives. At 36:35 to 43:00

13.  Why inhaling 7,000 chemicals along with nicotine for decades is worse than vaping. And the incredible reduction in these chemicals in IQOS.  At 45:15 to 47:55

14.  Prohibition (of alcohol) failed miserably 100 years ago…so we are going to repeat our mistakes by Prohibition of tobacco?  At 50:00 to 53:50

15.  Tobacco prohibitionists control the media, so they refuse to defend or debate their mission.  This makes them the opposite of strong and free.  At 55:10 to 56:25

Please watch this interview…and post your comments on YouTube.  Let’s keep the discussion going.


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