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US Study: Smokeless Tobacco Warnings That Are Purposely Misleading

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Even though many people are aware of the 1980s warnings about smokeless tobacco not being a safe alternative, what most of us are completely unaware of is that the warnings were nothing but a compromise as they have no base at all. According to a study earlier published in BMC Harm Reduction Journal, the origins of the 1980s warning that was released in the US was nothing close to the truth.

The study which focused on the historical and evidence-based comparative assessment of the USA 1980s warning against smokeless tobacco as not being a safe alternative to cigarette was said to have been conducted to establish the origin of the ‘not a safe alternative’ warnings as well as the basis behind the claim.

Lynn T. Kozlowski, who was the author of the study analyzed results of Truth Tobacco Industry Document archives as well as the transcript of the legislative earnings. He then proceeded to draw up an assessment that is richly based on evidence.

The data that were compiled from the studies and transcripts indicated that the only link between the use of smokeless tobacco and oral cancer was only derived from a single case of a teenager who was dying of oral cancer. The case was afterword over-publicized and then struck the attention of public health after a successful marketing campaign which advertised this kind of tobacco as a safer alternative to smoking.

Reaching a compromise on an inaccurate warning

In order to constrain the smokeless tobacco industry and to avoid an addiction warning, the ‘not a safe alternative’ warning compromise was accepted. The evidence presented does not, however, supported smokeless to be as harmful as cigarette smoking, but it declared it as ‘not safe.

Kozlowski, however, sadly concluded in his study that the inaccurate comparative warning that was issued in the 1980s which says smokeless tobacco is ‘not a safe alternative’, wasn’t only agreed upon by the big tobacco, but was also literally taken by the general public which had thus led most consumers to the wrong believe that smokeless tobacco is just as harmful as smoking,



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