Time for US to embrace the electronic age

| September 23, 2013

It is time to seize the moment and encourage tobacco users to move down the risk “continuum” from the most harmful to less harmful products, according to Murray S. Kessler, chairman, president and CEO of Lorillard, the owner of Lorillard Tobacco and Blu Ecigs.

Kessler was commenting in USA Today in response to an editorial titled “E-cigarettes threaten to undo years of gains: Our view.”

In his reply, titled, “E-cigarettes could reduce harm: Opposing view,” Kessler said that regulatory actions, including tax policy, should be used to encourage cigarette smokers to switch.

“For too many years, tobacco policy has been mired in an all-or-nothing philosophy,” Kessler wrote. “Under this approach, smokers are presented with just one alternative: quit.

“This mindset has prevented the implementation of a comprehensive public health strategy designed to reduce tobacco-related disease.

“Public health experts have long considered harm reduction an effective approach to limiting risks caused by various behaviors. Applied to tobacco, harm-reduction policies will make great progress. We desperately need to give more flexibility to tobacco users who do not want to quit or find it difficult to do so.

“E-cigarettes might be the most significant harm-reduction option ever made available to smokers …”

Kessler’s piece is at http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/09/22/electronic-cigarettes-blu-ecigs-editorials-debates/2850859/.

The editorial is at http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/09/22/e-cigarettes-smoking-addiction-editorials-debate/2850921/.

Category: Breaking News

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