Under this link you can find a commentary on A Billion Lives from biggest ”independent” heavily tax funded think-tank Tobaksfakta. Published today on Saturday February 4th 2017. Tobaksfakta also run and control several other groups, namely: Doctors against tobacco, Psychologists against tobacco, Dental care against tobacco, Teachers against tobacco, Professional organisations against tobacco.
Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate if they came and saw the film and wrote a film review after?
OK translation below
Comments to the film A Billion Lives – about e-cigarettes and Public Health
Are e-cigarettes a panacea for global epidemic of tobacco-related deaths? A panacea unfortunately held back by an unholy alliance of governments, the pharmaceutical industry and the tobacco industry (and even supported by public health workers)?
These claims are made by filmmaker Aaron Biebert in the documentary a Billion Lives. It premiered last year and tours continent by continent in a campaign-like shape, with the support of the e-cigarette industry. On 7 February it will screen in Stockholm. The screenings are marketed by a number of vape companies Filmvisningarna marknadsförs av ett antal e-cigarettföretag..
Stopped by conspiracy?
Film director Aaron Biebert runs a media company in Milwaukee, United States. He has previously produced music videos, commercials and short films for social media. A Billion Lives is his first feature leangth film. It tells how the suffering and death follows in the tracks of tobacco smoking all over the world and how the tobacco industry in the longest attempted to conceal the devastating effects of smoking. One billion people are at risk of dying from smoking in this century, says Aaron Biebert. But he has a prescription for the majority of all these lives (A Billion Lives) will be saved – namely, to encourage e-cigarette smoking.
That not everyone is as convinced as he is that e-cigarettes are a side-effect free panacea against the tobacco epidemic, Aaron Biebert describes as a result of a conspiracy. He believes that the various economic and political interests have joined together to prevent e-cigarette suceeding. This he argues is behind and causing heavy requirements for legislation on e-cigarettes and that they are even banned in some countries.
What does the tobacco prevention professional say?
In Sweden, the government is currently working out a proposal for a new special law on e-cigarettes, as a result of new EU Tobacco Products Directive where EU country regulation of e-cigarettes is taken. Tobaksfakta and other tobacco prevention organizations welcome the regulation of e-cigarettes.
But why the need for such legislation, however, should we not do anything to unreservedly support the e-cigarette use if it is true that it is so good for public health as A Billion Lives claim? To answer this we ask Barbro Holm Ivarsson, Chairman of Psychologists against Tobacco who is closely following and reporting on the development of knowledge concerning e-cigarettes:
– There are many reasons to have precise control over these new products.
Among other things, many studies show that the risk increases that teenagers start smoking conventional cigarettes if they are experimenting with e-cigarettes. And e-cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular among young people – about 30 percent have ever used them.
– The E-cigarette is not a safe product, the customer does not know what it contains and it can explode and cause injury or fire. Nicotine in high concentrations may be fatal if a child ingests it. We also know that the e-cigarette vapor contains harmful and even carcinogenic substances, but not how the long-term impact on health will be.
– Therefore, there needs to be child-resistant packaging, limits on nicotine concentration in e-liquid, 18-year limit, ban candy flavors and packaging that look like toys, advertising bans – including exposure ban in stores, ingredients lists, directions for use, warnings and license requirements for dealers, and quality assurance of product. Finally, the vapor that e-cigarettes also emits are harmful to bystanders and the product must be urgently prohibited in all non-smoking environments.
Barbro Holm Ivarsson also emphasizes that no one yet can say for sure what the net effect of e-cigarettes will be. Does the product really help more smokers to quit than the number that will be attracted, when taken into account that
1) Smokers postpone quitting smoking indefinitely when they are lulled into security when replacing a part of cigarettes to e-cigarettes,
2) young people who would not otherwise have started to smoke regular cigarettes, do it after having started with e-cigarettes,
3) Former adults smokers and never-smokers tempted to start with e-cigarettes, and then transferred to conventional cigarettes, and
4) e-cigarettes make nicotine consumption and smoking more cool and popular again?
What does the addiction researcher say?
An addiction researcher who followed the e-cigarette research for a long time is Fred Nyberg, senior professor of biological addiction research at Uppsala University. He confirms that there is not yet enough research evidence to be able to say anything for certain about the health advantages and disadvantages of e-cigarettes.
– In terms of how well they can help tobacco smokers to reduce their health risks are research results so far contradictory. My conclusion is still that it inveterate smokers are better off to switch to e-cigarettes than to continue with regular cigarettes. But there are more categories than inveterate smokers who meets e-cigarettes, says Fred Nyberg.
– The ones I’m most concerned about are those who haven’t started smoking at all, especially those who are under 20 years. Nicotine is addictive and especially young people are vulnerable to these effects. The nicotine in e-cigarettes triggers the reward system and the risk becoming a gateway to both tobacco use and other addictive drugs.
– In addition, the e-cigarette even begun to be used to cannabinoid drugs and stimulants because you get a much faster effect of the drug if you smoke or inhale it. Developments in the drug field is fast and I am convinced that soon you will find many more illegal substances to put in e-cigarettes.
Another aspect is, says Fred Nyberg, that nicotine can have adverse effects on the fetus, and he believes that pregnant women should not use e-cigarettes. Along with uncertainty about the potential risks of hazardous substances in the steam, making all the listed factors he recommends a restrictive regulatory approach.
– We must have control of this and wait for more research. It took 40 years for us to learn lessons about the dangers of smoking tobacco. Let us not make the same mistake again.
Erik Atakan Befrits
INNCO Steering Group
+46 764 156046
+90 531 5942910