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US Defence Dept Still At War

The American Department of Defence is waging a war – against vaping.

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The United States Department of Defence takes its responsibilities seriously when it comes to the health and well being of serving and retired personnel, as well as their families. This is why it offers an online quit support program and advice line with the website UCANQUIT2. The problem comes in that UCANQUIT2 and the Defence Department are highly selective with the information they give out.

The situation has come to light following contact between UCANQUIT2 and Sally Satel, eminent psychiatrist, author and Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C.

Satel has previously spoken about vaping in her newspaper articles, on blogs and in interviews. The video below offers her psychological profiling of anti-tobacco harm reduction campaigners and scientists working to undermine the electronic cigarette.

In her latest piece for Forbes Magazine, Satel (posing as a wife of a smoker seeking answers and solutions) recounts a conversation she held with one of UCANQUIT2’s advisors. The advisor struggles when faced with the simple question of whether Snus is safer than smoking: “There isn't a way that I can answer that question. Smoking has health issues associated with it. Smokeless tobacco does also. And, they have some of the same health risks. My opinion/advice/information - whatever you want to call it - is to quit all tobacco - smoking and smokeless.”

The same thing happened when they got onto the subject of vaping, the advisor said she did not know how much less risky vaping was when compared to smoking: “I cannot tell you whether snus, other smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes, or cigarette smoking are less risky.”

A quick glance through the UCANQUIT2 website tells you all you need to know about its (and the Department of Defence’s) position on vaping. It promotes the Big Pharma quit products, NRT and medicines. Its “Resource library” contains 10 entries for ecigarettes, ranging from it causing young people to use it through to the facts like it’s not harmless. By any standards, the website’s content coverage is pathetic.

And in UCANQUIT2’s “FAQs about Tobacco” smokers can learn that ecigs have been designed to look like cigarettes and it’s only the manufacturers claiming that they help people to quit cigarettes. Moreover, it says, “consumers cannot know whether e-cigarettes are safe for their intended use, what types or amounts of harmful chemicals they contain, and how much nicotine they deliver when inhaled.”

Then it trots out the old bunch of lies: “E-cigarettes may attract young people and lead them to try real cigarettes and other tobacco products. The appeal of e-cigarettes to young people may include novelty, appearance, sweet flavors, and a belief that these products are safe. Because nicotine is addictive, the risk that young people who try e-cigarettes will move on to other tobacco products is raised.”

Satel’s article details further abuses of position and misinformation. How shameful is it that the Department of Defence is trying it’s hardest to lead service personnel into a battle against cancer but preventing them from using the greatest weapon?

The US Department of Defence and UCANQUIT2 were invited to comment but did not respond by the time this article was published.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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