After a few readers questioned the logic of refusing to do "less harm" in promoting the use of smokeless tobacco over smoked tobacco, the author replied,
Our priorities include proving for smoke-free environments, increasing the price of tobacco, and ensuring there is a strong, comprehensive tobacco prevention and control program.
To serve those priorities we partner to collect data, data which indicates that smokeless use is already on the rise in WI. We use data which shows that the burden of tobacco is NOT reduced by the use smokeless products.
We are not exposing smokers to any risks. We pass policies, we don't do treatment.
Smokeless is not less harmful. Period.
So, where is the goal of protecting public health in this statement?
Where is the accountability that in setting policies, they affect public behavior?
Since when did it become "the burden of tobacco" over the burden of smoking and it's affect on public health?
Where is the science that proves that smokeless is not less harmful than smoking? There is plenty of science that proves the greatest exposure to toxins and carcinogens is in the smoke - we see it in the news and in public statements from groups such as the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society.
If what SmokeFree Wisconsin says is true about smokeless tobacco, wouldn't the opposite also be true? That smoking is no more dangerous than smokeless tobacco? So why the need for indoor smoking bans, if the smoke isn't the real danger?
In its policy to put eradicating any tobacco use as a priority over getting people to quit smoking, SmokeFree Wisconsin completely ignores valid, scientific research and urges people who use tobacco products to continue to use only its most dangerous form - smoking.
Because if smokeless tobacco is no less dangerous, why switch from smoking?