By Pippa Starr
6 December, 2020
I have read some articles that have made me laugh in my time but none more than the absurdity delivered by "writer" Annie Lowrey from "The Atlantic".
Buy the way, I often laugh to avoid the opposite.
The Atlantic is an American magazine and multi-platform publisher, founded in 1857 in Boston, Massachusetts. Like most publications it appears integrity has gone out the window while journalism is now replaced by satire.
Annie wrote an article titled
Eliminating nicotine from tobacco products could help up to 5 million adult smokers quit within a year" this morning,
In summary, she wrote about how Biden could enact a policy that could see nicotine eliminated, not the cigarettes, just the nicotine. Now I don't wish to preempt the intellect of "The Atlantic"'s readership, but to any reasonable person who understands anything above the very basic standard of science, if you take nicotine out of combustible tobacco it would still make it combustible.
Nicotine is seen as one of the deadliest chemicals in history. When it is laced with 1000's of chemicals in combustible tobacco it clearly kills people. It is currently estimated to kill 1 billion people this century.
However nicotine when used in a non combustion process has been proven in many scientific tests to be in fact useful and not highly addictive at all.
It's been successfully used in ongoing experiments (since 1994) in helping to treat people with limited or disrupted cognitive brain function. It has even helped some people with Tourettes syndrome to assist in the prevention of ticks.
However nicotine, this naturally occurring built in pesticide mechanism that we consume every day in potatoes, capsicums, tomatoes, eggplants as well as many other vegetables we eat, hasn't been known to cause tragic outcomes ever, except in combustible tobacco.
In Annie Lowreys piece, she basically suggests by removing nicotine from tobacco it would enable 5 million adult smokers to quit within a year in the USA. She leans on a "research" model that would be as much use as a tinder dating app algorithm, and if anyone has been down that track, reliability on an app Vs real life experience is far different.
To even hypothesise that this is a "silver bullet" idea that could work or be worth spending money on or investigating further is preposterous. If there is one scientific paper in the world in the last 100 years that proves that smoke from combustion is NOT harmful when breathed into the human lungs, please post it in the comments for a good laugh.
To suggest that people would just give up smoking because the nicotine has been removed out of the cigarette is a clear exhibition of naivety at the level of a primary school age student. People indeed smoke cigarettes for the nicotine and if you remove that, then welcome a massive black market and riots that would make the BLM effort look like a quiet walk in the street.
It's almost unbelievable that in 2020 any respected publication could or would let a piece like Annie's run. Like most decent people, I want to see smoking combustible tobacco become history, however there are more effective ways to do that other than suggesting or implementing policy strategies that would trigger even more fires to try and put out.
Quitting combustible tobacco is not easy and is often a gradual process that requires support, not push back or punitive prohibition measures.
I stopped an over 25 year heavy smoking addiction by vaping with non combustible use of nicotine that has never killed anyone. Others may find another path to freedom from the smokes, but removing the smoke from the nicotine rather than the nicotine from the smoke has proven in the real world to have helped over 50 million people quit smoking. It's just my opinion but isn't that evidence a lot more reliable than a model created by a few nerds playing with numbers on their computer screens.
What do you think? (FYI I respect my readers have intellect)
Additionally, it is of utmost importance that "journalism" and/or "satirists" are held personally and professionally accountable for what they publish in terms of possible detriment to health outcomes. The fact that an unqualified twit like Annie Lowrey can be let lose with a pen, let alone published under the guise of being a writer or journalist ironically indicates that the "The Atlantic"'s 163 year history has gone up in smoke!