KillTheCan.org forum moderators wastepanel and kdip attended the 7th National Smokeless & Spit Tobacco Summit last week in Missoula, Montana. They provided this recap of the final day of the event.
Day three of the summit continued the theme of the first two days. Big tobacco is still a big Godzilla that will strike anytime it can to shape public policy in its favor. They push “harm” reduction” as a way to make their SLT products seem like a “safe” alternative to combustible products while really promoting Dual Use. Internal tobacco company documents were presented that stated that SLT products should be marketed to be used by smokers when they can’t light up. This is NOT what they are stating publicly. They seem to want you to believe that SLT’s are a safer product and may be an aid in quitting smoking. They really want the smokers to keep using tobacco products and NOT quit. The Doctors and medical folks that presented at the summit like to think you need to use NRTs to quit contrary to our beliefs. Some other non-medical folks we met agreed with our philosophy of quitting cold turkey
We attended a session this morning that outlined the strategies BIG tobacco is using to get “friendly” states to pass legislation to reduce taxes on their “safer” SLT products. Presenters from Indiana and Oklahoma outlined how their state legislatures were lobbied by the tobacco PACs. Taxes on a can of moist snuff would go down from $1.60 a can to about 10 cents under their proposals. They also want dissolvables and Ecigs exempted from regulation. Their tactics included using “expert” testimony presented by Dr. Radu from the University of Kentucky. He is heavily supported by the tobacco industry.
All in all it was a very informative summit and Waste and I learned a lot. There was continued interest in our site and how we quit at our table and we were able to hand out all of our samples and brochures. The closing ceremonies emphasized that No SLT products are SAFE and they should continue to be regulated and taxed the same as all tobacco products. They encouraged the attendees to get involved in their local communities to educate the public on new tobacco products like nicotine laced gum, water, and dissolvables to prevent youth access. The speaker feels these new products should be banned outright. The local Indian tribe performed their ceremonial dance accompanied by a drum cadence and the seminar ended at 12:30 PM.
Wastepanel and Kdip
I’d like to once again thank the guys for not only providing these recaps, but for taking time out of their schedules to attend the event. I’d also like to thank everyone who donated to the cause to make this trip a reality. Absolutely amazing! Finally, I think based on our experience at this year’s Summit as well as in 2011 in Austin, I really think that KillTheCan.org should work toward being a presenter at some upcoming shows. We seem to be one of the only groups that’s really focused on QUITTING dip. And that’s the most important thing.