We’ve seen this before: Tobacco harm reduction opponents mimicking old drug war tactics and rhetoric:
Time: 4:25 pm - 4:45 pm
Date: May 26
The ways in which those who oppose tobacco harm reduction mimic the tactics of those who opposed reform of illicit drug policies is profoundly disturbing. Politicians and public health officials ignore the voices and concerns of consumers and others who would most benefit from harm reduction policies. Government and philanthropic funders focus almost entirely on potential harms and little if at all on benefits, or the role of pleasure, or personal agency, choice and human rights. Powerful activist groups adapt the rhetoric and lies used by now discredited anti-marijuana groups. Bans on harm reduction devices are justified in terms of protecting children notwithstanding evidence that they actually fail to protect young people while endangering adults. Scant attention is given to the potential downsides and unintended consequences of overly restrictive regulations and prohibitions. Medical associations and professionals accept and propagate claims that have no basis in scientific evidence. None of this is consistent with responsible public health, good public policy or ethical standards of communication, public advocacy and serious political leadership. Those who mimic the rhetoric, tactics and abuses of now discredited drug war proponents need to be called out and discredited.
- Ethan Nadelmann Founder - Drug Policy Alliance