Big Tobacco Going After E-Cigarettes With Strong Warnings

MarkTen WarningsTobacco companies, commonly referred to here as “Big Tobacco” are the cause of more deaths than just about anything on the planet Earth.  Then why all of a sudden are they voluntarily putting out some of the strongest warning labels AGAINST the up and coming e-cigarette industry?

One warning, from Altria, maker of Marlboros, reads in part: “Nicotine is addictive and habit forming, and is very toxic by inhalation, in contact with the skin, or if swallowed.”  This is no surprise to us, the folks that understand just how lethal and addicting this stuff is.  What’s head scrathing is why Altria is coming forward with this message.

The warnings, which are voluntary exceed what amounts to modest cautions, silence or even positive health claims from smaller e-cigarette makers.

“When I saw it, I nearly fell off my chair,” said Dr. Robert K. Jackler, a professor at the Stanford School of Medicine where he leads research into cigarette and e-cigarette advertising. MarkTen also warns that e-cigarettes are not a smoking cessation product, a warning that also appears on Vuse from Reynolds.  “Is this part of a noble effort for the betterment of public health, or a cynical business strategy? I suspect the latter,” Dr. Jackler said.

I’d tend to agree with him.  There’s simpy no WAY that Big Tobacco simply grew a backbone or a moral compass over night.  There is one… single reason they’re doing this. MONEY.  They see e-cigarettes as cutting in on them selling addiction.  Can’t have that.

According to a new New York Times article, “Experts with years studying tobacco company behavior say they strongly suspect several motives, but, chiefly, that the e-cigarette warnings are a very low-risk way for the companies to insulate themselves from future lawsuits and, even more broadly, to appear responsible, open and frank. By doing so, the experts said, big tobacco curries favor with consumers and regulators, earning a kind of legitimacy that they crave and have sought for decades. Plus, they get to appear more responsible than the smaller e-cigarette companies that seek to unseat them.”

The article goes on to say, “The fact these companies are voluntarily warning about e-cigarettes is “totally Orwellian,” said Robert N. Proctor, a Stanford history professor who studies the tobacco industry. He added, “They do everything for legal reasons, otherwise they’d stop making the world’s deadliest consumer products.”

Make no mistake… there’s more to this than Big Tobacco just being “nice” and warning others about these products.

Read the original article here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/29/business/dire-warnings-by-big-tobacco-on-e-smoking-.html

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