State governments & the MSA
On November 23, 1998, all but 4 states entered into the Master Settlement Agreement with the 4 big tobacco companies.
The tobacco companies committed to pay out around $200 billion over twenty years to the state governments… based on annual cigarette sales.
Ignoring the purpose of MSA
In the first section of the MSA, this agreement was made “to avoid the further expense, delay , incovenience, burden and uncertainty of continued litigation” by the state against the tobacco industry for expenses occured to Medicaid as a result of smoking.
Unfortunately, the MSA did not make provisions for how the MSA money is to be spent.
MSA protects the 4 tobacco companies
Since the 4 tobacco giants entered an agreement to pay the state though the MSA, other tobacco companies are to be penalized by the state for doing business. So, since vaping helps smokers get off of cigarettes (which would lower MSA payments) the states catigorized vaping as tobacco.
Vaping is no more tobacco than vitamin C is an orange.
Spending money before payments
Some of the state governments issued bonds based on the projections for future MSA payments. Unfortunately, they underestimated the rate at which smokers would stop smoking which means the payments were lower than they banked on. Those payments were short to pay the bonds when due.
MSA backed bonds at risk for default
The S & P securities ratings assessed the immerging vaping industry as reducing the amount of smokers. Therefore they anticipated a drop in cigarette sales and the amount of MSA payouts. This means the governments that issued the bonds would have to find money elsewhere to pay them out when due.
What went wrong in the USA
During the investigation into the cause of EVALI, governments, health-related nonprofits, health authorities, medical professionals, anti-smoking groups and media repeatedly claimed that vaping was injuring people without specifying that the injuries were caused from illegal THC cartridges.
Over and over again, they included nicotine eliquid in their conversations, statements and announcements. A false narrative that blamed tobacco harm reduction (vaping nicotine eliquid) for the lung injuries spread throughout the public and the health community.
CDC contradicts their evidence
As a national health authority, the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a responsibility to report on the facts. During the lung injury outbreak, despite the growing evidence that THC cartridges were the cause, the CDC alluded that nicotine eliquid was to blame. They are guilty of confirmation bias.
FDA vs CDC accuracy
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC advised the public about the facts on the lung injuries. Both released reports on Sept. 6, 2019. It is very clear, when reading the reports that the CDC chose a fear-based narrative about tobacco harm reduction and glossed over THC products that were causing the injuries.
Health-related regulatory bodies
During the outbreak, health-related regulatory bodies, such as the American Medical Association, joined the CDC in avoiding the truth as to the causality of the outbreak. They continued to deceive the public about tobacco harm reduction with the fear-based narratives they have been promoting for years. As a result, health professionals continue to be misinformed about tobacco harm reduction.
State officials & harm reduction
In 1998, the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) guaranteed states would receive annual payments from the tobacco industry. These payments are based on a portion of cigarette sales for the year. If smokers switch to vaping, then the states receive less. Utilizing the outbreak, Gov. Baker discouraged the smokers in Massachusetts from switching to a 95% safer alternative source of nicotine, vaping.
Federal government complicit
Smoking makes people very sick. Sick people are very profitable for the pharmaceutical industry. The pharmaceutical industry is the largest lobbying power in the USA; the oil and gas industry has half the lobbying power of the pharmaceutical industry. This may explain why the US House of Representatives attempted to ban tobacco harm reduction which didn’t cause the lung injuries and promote cannabis use which did cause the lung injuries.
The United Kingdom (UK) promotes vaping for smokers. They are different than most of the world because they reviewed the science on vaping before the global false narrative got to them. The lies were so pervasive that even their citizens became misinformed.
For over 20 years, RealClearPolicy has been reviewing US domestic policy and analyzes “the most pivotal information on the day’s need-to-know issues”. They reviewed how the CDC handled EVALI in their article titled, Heads Should Roll at CDC after Botched Vaping Investigation.
Filter is a nonprofit, their mission is to …”advocate through journalism for rational and compassionate approaches to drug use, drug policy and human rights”. Their critique of how CDC handled EVALI is titled, Vapes and Lung Disease: The CDC’s Lesson in How Not to Handle an Illness Outbreak.
Expert warnings from the UK
Since the 2016 publication of Nicotine Without Smoke, UK health authorities have been promoting vaping as a smoking cessation aid for their citizens.
Scientists, health authorities and doctors in the UK issued statements and reports to help people see the deception about the 2019 vaping related lung injuries (EVALI).
Dr. Britton calls out the deception
When asked about the USA authority’s reaction to EVALI, Dr. Britton said that it was “complete madness.”
Smoking experts in the UK spoke out against the misinformation spread about EVALI and continue to encourage smokers to choose harm reduction.
Prof. Newton reassures smokers
We can argue that Canada’s reaction has been and continues to be madness because our authorities are discouraging smokers from harm reduction and therefore encouraging continued smoking.
Dr. Leonard observes misinformation
Smoking kills over 40,000 Canadians and over 400,000 Americans every single year! How many North Americans have been diagnosed with a chronic smoking-related disease because they didn’t know they had an effective and safe harm reduction option?
Dr. Shahab addresses false belief
Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable disease & death in North America. Yet, health-related authorities and nonprofits in Canada and the USA, blame nicotine vaping as the cause of the lung injuries and demand stricter restrictions on tobacco harm reduction.
Repeated fear provoking narrative
The pervasive message in North America is that we have to ban vaping because their is a ‘youth vaping epidemic’.
In Great Britain, vaping is recognized as a significant harm reduction strategy and is promoted by their public health. Yet, less than 2% of 11-18 year olds vape more than once a week.
WHERE is the youth vaping epidemic in Great Britain?
Teens mess with stuff they shouldn’t
Youth experiment with adult activities, this is why 52% vaped “to give it a try”. Cigarette smoke is far more addictive than nicotine vapour and far more harmful. Since smoking tastes gross, perhaps the flavours in eliquid are preventing them from becoming smokers.
CALL TO ACTION
Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs wrote a referenced paper about EVALI. It is the perfect document to enlighten health professionals about how they have been deceived about tobacco harm reduction.
Learn more about tobacco harm reduction:
Canada gov't THC cartridges
The Canadian federal government controls the sale of cannabis products and taxes the sales.
On October 19, 2020, during the EVALI outbreak, THC cartridges were approved for sale. The fact that EVALI was caused by illegal THC cartridges could have an adverse effect on legal THC cartridges sales revenue.
Nicotine eliquid was blamed.
HC acknowledges the cause
In December 2019, Health Canada (HC) was questioned by CBC as to the cause of EVALI because the Gov’t of Canada approved the sale of THC cartridges during the EVALI outbreak. HC clearly communicates that they understand EVALI is cause from illegal THC carts and not from nicotine eliquid.