Below is a summary of Bronson Frick’s email push regarding big tobacco’s recent push nationwide to require health departments to promote chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes, and other “smokeless” products under the guise of “harm reduction.”
It should be noted that tobacco companies are in the business to sell their product and to grow their consumer base. “Harm reduction” is merely a ploy to bypass longstanding promotional regulations and standards and build upon the little known tobacco products as most people link big tobacco with cigarettes exclusively.
Despite recent pushes towards “harm reduction” and corporate social responsibility, it should be noted that they still oppose evidence-based practices such as strong smokefree workplace laws, comprehensive tobacco prevention programs, higher taxes, local control, FDA action, RICO remedies, and a broad range of other policies that would save thousands or millions of lives.
The RJ Reynolds website mentions Oklahoma and Indiana specifically for “harm reduction” policy efforts.
Below is a statement from the RJR website that summarizes their public stance:
‘Reducing the diseases and deaths associated with the use of cigarettes serves public health goals and is in the best interest of consumers, manufacturers and society. Harm reduction should be the critical element of any comprehensive public policy surrounding the health consequences of tobacco use.’
It can be useful to browse tobacco companies’ action alert sites to see some of the other topics and communities in their cross-hairs:
RJ Reynolds action alert site “Transform Tobacco.” This site used to be called NoCigTax but is now expanded to oppose other policy issues too. Harm Reduction is now one of their key issues. http://transformtobacco.com
Philip Morris: Citizens for Tobacco Rights (consumer advocacy site)
Philip Morris: Tobaccoissues.com (tobacco retailer advocacy)
Lorrilard bought the e-cigarette company Blu. Their recent push towards e-cigarettes glamorizes smoking and essentially is like having tobacco ads on TV again.www.blucigs.com