First Do No Harm

ignorance

Sometimes I’m amazed at people. Oftentimes it’s for the amazing talents or feats of a particular individual. Unfortunately, mostly it’s due to the amazing ability some people have to ignore fact and never move outside their mind filled with lies and prejudice; even at possible great harm to others. Case in point, read this recent post about the recent groundbreaking study out of the UK (go ahead, I’ll wait).

Now, imagine an individual in a position of influence at the state level. Someone who has the power to create and pass laws at will. Got him pictured? Good. *Note* it’s probably not who you are thinking. Now imagine him sitting behind his computer or smart phone and receiving an email with details of the new study. No embellishment. No commentary. Just actual information directly from the report. Not hard to imagine, right? One would think that someone intelligent enough to get himself elected, go through medical school and be a highly respected member of society would mean they actually take the time to educate himself and has an open enough mind to recognize that science can change and, well, facts are facts. Well…..a man much wiser than I once said “People don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed“.

So with that said, allow me to post some of his response to me and his capitol peers (in red italics) regarding this groundbreaking study he was essentially hand delivered but refused to read prior to responding. If you ask me who it was, I won’t tell you. I’m not the type of person to put an elected leader on blast publicly or hit “Reply to All” and make him appear foolish. That behavior in politics is foolish in it’s own right and simply is not productive. I just want to show my readers his foolishness so hopefully, maybe, he or one of his peers will see this and open their eyes to the truth. [edit – I’ve now received two responses so will try and address both at the same time]

  • I notice that you choose your terms carefully to avoid using the word Nicotine
    • Actually sir, none of the words are mine nor did I carefully choose anything nor avoid using any term. These are the words of the MOST RESPECTED MEDICAL ORGANIZATION IN THE BLOODY WORLD! Look em up. The Royal College of Physicians has over 35,000 doctors in it’s ranks and has been around longer than any and has influenced more groundbreaking health policy than any other.
  • Anyone who uses nicotine for any length of time whether vaping, smoking, chewing, or in patches or gums, will have a prolonged and difficult period of withdrawal if and when they try to break free of it.
    • According to the FDA, you know, those guys out East who YOU want to regulate our industry; well, they claim completely the opposite. The actually published a Notice of Findings in the Federal Register indicating that the “long-term use of the nicotine was safe and does not appear to have significant potential for abuse or dependence.”
    • Big Pharma uses study data from smokeless tobacco use in Sweden (Snus) as their basis for Nicotine Replacement Therapy. They claim, and the FDA supports the fact that “long-term nicotine consumption without smoke has no clinical significance.”
    • Lastly, according to Dr. Paul Newhouse, the director of Vanderbilt University’s Center for Cognitive Medicine (who has done extensive research into beneficial effects of nicotine on the brain); “Nicotine by itself isn’t very addictive at all. Nicotine seems to require assistance from other substances found in tobacco to get people hooked.”
  • Nicotine is the second most addicting substance that we know of (second only to heroin and the opioids).  And it is addicting in whatever form you take it.
    • While I’ll concede that nicotine creates a dependence, not addiction (there is a monumental difference and terminology is important), in those who use it; I bring you back to Dr Newhouse’s research above. His research, and that of virtually every producer of NRT products shows that “It seems very safe even in nonsmokers. In our studies we find it actually reduces blood pressure chronically. And there were no addiction or withdrawal problems, and nobody started smoking cigarettes. The risk of addiction to nicotine alone is virtually nil.”
  • Independent of the form it is taken in has been shown to cause cancers in intestines, lung, pancreas and breast.  It accelerates macular degeneration which causes blindness, and worsens emphysema and raises blood pressure.
    • I’m beginning to see something here now. When you think of vapor products, you must be able to cognitively separate nicotine from smoking. They are two separate subjects here. When nicotine is combine with tobacco smoke, you are 100% correct in that. However, nicotine by itself has never been shown to cause any cancers or the other issues you mention. Never. Ever. In fact, even the FDA, NIH and virtually every cancer center study in the world shows this.
  • Your industry continues to be dependent, as it has for many decades now, on getting yet another generation of the young addicted to nicotine
  • From second responder: We have a whole new group of people working for the tobacco companies that are simply not going to give up the billions of dollars generated from their addicted clients
    • Ahhh even more is clear. For reference, I do not work for nor does this organization receive funding from Big Tobacco. This industry is NOT Big Tobacco. This industry was NOT founded by Big Tobacco. The small business owners have zero financial ties to Big Tobacco. This industry, was founded by a…wait for it…MEDICAL DOCTOR! The over 15,000 small business owners and over 10 million adult consumers in the US are all ex-smokers who have a single goal, to eradicate combustible tobacco and Big Tobacco globally.
    • For a great history lesson (if you are even still reading at this point), here is a fantastic timeline of the industry.

I could continue but this post is already very long and frankly, I have more important things to work on than to respond to rhetoric that is spewed forth by someone who is too narrow minded to open their mind to the fact that science changes. Scientific study after study is proving that a prohibitionist approach is killing people. Claiming that we don’t know enough or there are not enough studies is doing nothing but proving ignorance or incompetence and I honestly have done everything possible to educate you. If your public that you represent along with over 300 scientific studies AND the largest, most respected and most prestigious medical organization in the world cannot convince you; then I wish you all the best in your career and I’ll pray for your patients.

I close by reminding you of an oath you took when you started your profession so very many years ago. Primum non nocere, which for those not speaking Latin is a phrase that means “first, do no harm; one of the core principals of the Hippocratic Oath. An oath YOU had to take in order to get through your prestigious university to get that fancy piece of paper on your office wall. This oath requires that you maintain an open mind and treat patients with the latest information available; not shove your head in the sand (or in other dark places) and ignore the facts.

Doing nothing or ignoring the facts is no different than doing actual harm to those you have pledged to care for. Doing nothing is tantamount to medical malpractice and the 1200 lives you allow to die because of your chosen ignorance is nothing short of genocide. But if you don’t believe in scientific advances don’t worry, it’s only A Billion dirty smokers Lives on the line….Nobody loves them, right?

harm

 

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