Letter to NYT.COM Editorial board

Dear Editorial Booard

Somewhere between 46 and 52 (yup, your national stats are actually that dismally bad that you can’t even say within a 10% degree of certainty) of Americans smoke cigarettes. With continued use of cigarettes approximately 50% of them will die from said use.

Yet, your obviously itchy itchy itchy keyboard fingers can’t seem to help themselves from continuing your advocacy on a Quit or Die policy instead of harm reduced smoking alternatives, why in God’s name do you write tobacco and not smoking in the following paragraph?

There is honest debate among scientists about the health effects of marijuana, but we believe that the evidence is overwhelming that addiction and dependence are relatively minor problems, especially compared with alcohol and tobacco.

The only functional country in the world to properly assess the honest science done on tobacco over the last 25 years is Sweden. Sweden has a tobacco total usage rate comparable with Europe but with 50% smoking and 50% Low Nitrosamine Smokeless use. Approximately +99% of Swedish tobacco related disease is without any doubt caused by smoking. This then would in practice and in theory leave approximately how many percent of tobacco related disease having been caused by Low Nitrosamine Smokeless use??

Do please, for heavens sake, get one of your scientific editors to send this email or a reformulated version of it to the state owned Research Institute on Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs (SIRUS) in Norway. The Directors name is Karl Erik Lund and he has absolutely no reason whatsoever to not be entirely truthful in his reply to one of the most prestigious and respected publications in the world, the New York Times. You can reach him on e-mail: kel@sirus.no

I implore you, do not advocate dismantling a 40 year old insane stupidity (finally and thank you!) in terms of Marihuana while in the same piece advocating an abolitionist stance on on one of the most widely used mild stimulants (nicotine) in the world besides coffee and tea.

Tobacco is in essence like tea or coffee. Regular lifelong smoking of either of these two would without a doubt cause exactly the range of disease we see as results of smoking tobacco. Replacing the tobacco in Asian Betel Quid formulations with tea (Camelia sinensis) would not have any effect on the oropharyngeal cancers in any way measurable.

Thank you for your attention

Atakan Befrits

Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocate in the Middle East/Asia Region
(Where 800 million people this century will die from SMOKING tobacco)

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