Monthly Archives: November 2012

US government to require tobacco companies to correct “lies”, and to lie

by Carl V Phillips

The good news: endorsement of this blog’s preferred word choice.  Pretty much everyone who reported the recent court order that the major US tobacco companies to publicly confess and “correct” past claims chose to use the word lies.

The neutral news: forced ad buys.  The main practical effect of the order is a huge transfer of wealth from the tobacco companies to Disney, Comcast, Google, etc. when the former has to by advertising to air its confession.   It is hard to get very excited about wealth transfers among giant rapacious corporations.  (And, no, I am not channeling Naomi Klein — I am quite happy that these greedy amoral corporations provide goods and services that I enjoy.  But who cares which of their rich stockholders are making a little bit more money?)  The usual ANTZ suspects are praising that aspect, but I suspect they are actually privately fuming that there was no order to further fill their coffers.

The scary news: forced confessions.  While corporations are clearly much different from people, there is something very troubling about a judge ordering any entity to make a public confession, whatever the substance of it might be.  Individual actors can decide to offer a confession as part of a bargain about punishment or to try to improve their image, or even out of genuine remorse (though only actual people feel remorse, of course).  But an actual ordered recanting of past claims evokes images of the Inquisition, or Stalinist/McCarthyist/etc. show trials.  Think Galileo, Socrates, Jesus….

Of course, the usual suspects will say that this particular case is entirely different, and that in this case the forced confession is clearly the right thing to demand, and is nothing at all like those examples.  Those usual suspects are probably genuinely too clueless to realize that this is exactly what inquisitors always say.  Only those clowns would be so out of touch as to believe that their pet peeve is somehow a more compelling reason for engaging in scary oppressive behavior than existential threats to society from communism (or to communism) or to the True God(s).

The Lies news: As with those other examples of forced recanting, the defendants are being forced to lie and to recant positions that are inconvenient for those in power, but are/were not actually wrong.  I could write all day about the absurd mandates in the court ruling, but will limit myself to highlighting a few.

Consider the requirement to “confess” that cigarettes cause various health risks.  Most of that is kind of silly, given that everyone knows that and that the companies have already admitted it.  But there is the specific requirement that the companies attest that cigarettes kill more than 1200 Americans per day.  This is based on the official government statistic, but that statistic is rather dubious.  Honest scientific analysts could — and do — take issue with it.  (Consider just the fact that the number has continued to creep up even as the smoking rate has dropped and treatments for many of the diseases have improved.)  The government is demanding that private actors explicitly endorse their dubious specific claim.

Worst still are the claims about “addictiveness”, which specifically attack nicotine and not just smoking.  There is no legal or government definition for addiction, let alone measures of degrees of it, and yet the companies have been condemned for voicing doubts on this topic, and are being ordered to make statements about addictiveness and “more addictive”.  Reasonable people can interpret that word as requiring a level of intensity and short-term self-destruction that is seldom present with cigarette/tobacco/nicotine use.  But it would not be a violation of any legal or medical definition to call it an affinity for the color blue, so punishing the companies for denying the common assertion is impossible to justify.

A more practical threat is the forced confession about designing cigarettes to be “more addictive”.  This seems like a clear setup to condemn low-risk nicotine products.  The judge who issued the ruling was perhaps just a naive dupe on this point, but the ANTZ who undoubtedly ghost-wrote the details knew that they were sneaking in an attack on non-pharma smokefree alternatives.  This is combined with statements about nicotine, including how it “actually changes the brain”.  The latter is a combination of an obvious vacuous statement that is designed to sound scary (every time you remember something, it “actually changes the brain”) and an simplistic conclusion from the “brain porn” neuro imaging that is being widely condemned as junk science.  So the companies are being ordered to declare as fact claims that are undefined and that are arguably utter junk.

Much attention is devoted to the claims that “light” cigarettes are substantially lower risk, claims that the ANTZ are desperate to attack the companies for in order to distract from the fact that they (the contemporary “public health” people) supported the same claims.  But again, this is a “confession” of information that is already widely disseminated and accepted by the companies, and again, the unequivocal mandated claims are dubious in a few places.  It would be much more appropriate if the US government ordered the companies to recant the obviously false claims, clearly designed to keep people smoking, that THR alternatives are as harmful as cigarettes.  Oh, wait, the companies have never made those claims — it is the US government that repeatedly states such lies.

Finally, there is some amusing irony in the required confessions about ETS.  Once again, the companies are being asked to confess to specific claims that honest scientists can — and do — doubt.  ETS is clearly not healthy, but whether it creates a measurable body count, particularly now that exposure has basically been limited to the home, is debatable.  But the companies are being forced to endorse the claim that it kills 3000 Americans per year.  The funny thing is that this is less than 1/10th the official government and other ANTZ claims.  Indeed, if this number is right, then that 1200 figure above is wrong because about 10% of that figure is based on the usual inflated claim of ETS deaths.  I will (mostly) leave the fights about ETS claims to others, but it will be interesting to see how they use this new official >90% reduction in what the US government is claiming.

The companies that are the target of this ruling are still deciding whether they will appeal.  Let’s hope that they do.  Because in this bizarre “public health”-ified world we live in, we depend on cigarette companies to be the defenders of honest science and to fight against batshit-crazy public policy.

Aside

by Carl V Phillips Dick Puddlecote just posted a nice analysis of the annoying tendency of cannabis users to attack tobacco (and alcohol) use and users, motivated in part by a misguided notion that by joining the attack on other … Continue reading

Aside

Just a quick aside today.  I only just noticed the hilarious “warning” message on the shopping page SnusCentral.com: US Government Mandated Warnings for Americans:  Depending on the month, this product can cause mouth cancer, can cause gum disease and tooth … Continue reading

US Department of Health and Human Services are liars (and kinda stoopid)

by Carl V Phillips

I hope my readers in the US had a good holiday, those in the UK are recovering from being intensively aware of alcohol during #alcoholaware2012, and everyone else was productive for the last few days.  In honor of the US holiday, I present another little chapter on the past and current champion anti-THR liar on the planet, the US government.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), at apparently the central-administration level (no operating division is mentioned), recently released this document that trashes e-cigarettes, and so joints its FDA, CDC, and NIH operating divisions in the anti-THR lies business.  There is really not much here that is not already pushed by the departments, but for completeness, a few words about this additional abuse of our tax dollars being used to keep people smoking.

The short document contains the usual lies that these products appeal to children (despite the lack of evidence about that, and the clear evidence that they appeal less than does smoking) and that they lead to smoking (despite the fact that this is utterly ludicrous).  Interestingly, they felt constrained enough by the evidence to not make risk claims, but instead use this to sneak in a reference that gives the casual reader the impression that they are making risk claims:

Using e-cigarettes may lead kids to try other tobacco products—including conventional cigarettes—which are known to cause disease and lead to premature death.

Yes, that’s right:  Because the product they replace is known to cause disease, e-cigarettes are bad.

They also tell us that in addition to sometimes looking like cigarettes and cigars, e-cigarettes sometimes look like pens.  While I am sure that there is some product on the market that does look like a pen, I have never seen one that could be mistaken for a pen from five feet away.  I think all they are suggesting is that they are often roughly cylindrical objects that fit in your hand, in which case they apparently also look like… well, you get the idea.

But these pale compared to the lead-off moronic lie, one I have previously covered before in other forms:

Because clinical studies about the safety of e-cigarettes have not been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you have no way of knowing:

  • If they are safe
  • Which chemicals they contain
  • How much nicotine you are inhaling

Seriously?  How can someone believe such a thing and still understand how to dress himself in the morning?  Did you know that since clinical studies about taking a stroll in the park (or reading this blog!)  have never been submitted to FDA, you have no way to know if it is safe?  Did you know that since clinical studies of foods have never been submitted to the FDA, you have no way of knowing what chemicals they contain and how much?  It turns out that no one in the world knows anything until something is submitted to FDA.  That is going to seriously slow down science.

(Ironically, no one has submitted studies of any type to anyone that suggest e-cigarettes appeal to children or lead to smoking.  But they have no hesitation to make those claims.)

I am sure what they must have been trying to say is that you have no way of knowing unless you have a bit of common sense and knowledge about how the world works, and know how to read.  So if you are an infant or just arrived from another planet, you definitely have no way of knowing, and therefore should probably not be vaping.

But it gets worse than that if you think about it a moment.  How, exactly, would a submission of a clinical trial of safety tell you what chemicals they contain?  And how would it tell you how much nicotine you are getting?  (I would recommend looking at chemistry studies and statements by reputable manufacturers to assess the former, and assessing your own reaction for the latter.)

I realize that people at HHS central administration are politicos and lawyers, not scientists, but geez.  Can our science education really be failing so badly that not one of what was probably a couple of dozen people who reviewed the document noticed how absurd this was?

Less absurd, but similarly wrong, is the closer:

Although e-cigarettes may be marketed as a tool to help smokers quit, they have not been submitted for FDA evaluation or approval and there is no evidence to support those claims.

The first bit is not true, except to the extent that marketers are violating US law.  The latter bit is, of course, another version of the “I am going to pretend the evidence I do not like does not exist” lie.  That statement is followed with:

There are, however, a number of FDA-approved quit-aids available to smokers, including: Nicotine gum, Nicotine skin patches, Nicotine lozenges, Nicotine oral inhaled products, Nicotine nasal spray, Zyban, Chantix

To their credit, they did not lie about this.  Those products do indeed exist and they are FDA-approved.  They never actually claimed those products work, that using them is a good idea, or that people are better off using them rather than pursuing THR.

Pretending there is a difference between dissolvables and similar NRT

by Carl V Phillips

A recent paper was ostensibly a research agenda for dissolvable smokeless tobacco products.  It is totally lame and is so devoid of useful content that it would not be worth reading at all, except that it is written by some of the US FDA tobacco unit’s pet consultants, and thus can be seen as either a calculated trial balloon for the FDA or, more likely in this context, an engineered excuse for doing what they were planning to do anyway.  The entire paper is vaguely hostile to dissolvables without actually saying anything concrete (because there is nothing concrete to say).

The glaring omission from the paper — and the definitive evidence that the paper was not trying to provide an honest policy analysis — was the complete lack of mention of pharmaceutical (NRT) nicotine lozenges.  The latter products are so similar to dissolvable ST that only someone who is trying to mislead their readers would fail to draw the comparison.

Clearly there are differences in appeal:  the ST products are made by people who understand what consumers like and are trying to give them what they want, whereas the pharma products are decidedly yucky (personally I do not find any of these products appealing, but the pharma products are more unappealing, an assessment shared by people I have talked to who like the ST products).  There are potential differences in the benefits (all of the psychoactive chemicals in tobacco vs. nicotine alone).  And there are theoretical tiny differences in their health effects, though it is not necessarily obvious which direction that goes in, and in any case it is tiny and unlikely to be measurable unless there is something very strange about dissolvables that makes them unlike snus.

But physically and behaviorally, the products are basically identical, and it is the physical and behavioral aspects that the recent paper (and, thus presumably FDA) is most focused on.  For example, there is the inevitable “look like candy” claim, though the pharma products resemble candy just as closely and, unlike the ST products, are actually packaged in ways that resemble candy (for more on that, read my parody of those claims if you have not done so — I am fairly confident you will find it worth your time).

There are several discussions of how smokers might use these products to deal with smoking place restrictions (with the insinuation that allowing smokers to avoid suffering is a bad thing).  But there is no mention that most people who use pharma nicotine use it for just that purpose.  The authors seem to also be unaware of the existence of snus pouches and e-cigarettes — they suggest that dissolvables are unique in their ability to provide smokers with a comfortable and socially acceptable smoke-free alternative.

Simply ignoring the similarities, while casting insinuations about dissolvable ST that are unaffected by the small differences, is the typical ANTZ strategy.  It seems to be the most definitive evidence that they are consciously endeavoring to protect their friends/patrons in pharma (not that there is not plenty of other evidence, but this is the most blatant).

While the recent paper was not one of the semi-psychotic hatchet jobs that we often see, it definitely had its share of “come up with anything we can say that is negative”:

The packaging of dissolvables also raises important questions. Some current product packages include 12 dissolvables per container. It is unclear if such package size is appropriate for the exclusive dissolvable user, or if it is more suitable for the needs of a dual user seeking to maintain nicotine levels during periods of smoking abstention.

I realize that ANTZ do not always seem to be a part of the same humanity as the rest of us, but how have they overlooked the fact that manufacturers often introduce a new product with a limited quantity, rather than demanding consumers pay for a large quantity to try the product.  I suspect consumers still can figure out how to buy a larger quantity at one time if they wanted — tobacco users are not as dumb as the ANTZ apparently think.  But beyond that, the claim is just moronic on its face:  Exactly how many smokers find themselves saying “well shoot, this only comes in a 24 pack, but I only expect that I will find myself needing to be temporarily smoke-free 12 more times in my life, so I guess I will not buy it”?

Of course, were the 24 pack were the norm, Greg Conley cleverly observed that the paper would have instead read:

Some current product packages include 24 dissolvables per container. It is unclear if such package size is appropriate due to the extremely high risk of child poisonings.

(Note: There is no evidence of particularly high risk — this is parody.)

Finally, as is practically mandatory for these papers:

This increase in the marketing of dissolvables has sparked controversy because the design of these products could conceivably contribute to an overall increase in tobacco consumption, thus leading to an increase in morbidity and mortality.

Apparently they have not read me and others pointing out that this claim is absurd (mentioned here recently), and that any substitute for smoking cannot help but lead to a decrease.  Apparently also they are incapable of performing the simple arithmetic that it takes to independently derive that conclusion.  Of course, they do not really have to have such analytic skills because they have figured out how to make a living writing content-free papers and then cashing their huge checks from the US taxpayer.

[Minor Update:  After some discussion, I have conceded that the neologism has standardized as the plural of the noun-ification of the adjective “dissolvable” — that is, without the “e” that was toyed with as a way to create a distinct word.  I will further concede that I should have at least been consistent :-) — so all the appearances are now standardized.  If nothing else, this is a nice lesson in how language usage evolves based on utility rather than following arbitrary rules like to not split infinitives or that a preposition is not good to end a sentence with.  After all, the rules say that the word is dissoluble.]

FCTC (WHO’s anti-tobacco fanatic corps) are afraid of the people

by Carl V Phillips

The press is the best instrument for enlightening the mind of man, and improving him as a rational, moral and social being
- Thomas Jefferson

Well, if you have read any or all of my Unhealthful News series at EP-ology, you know that the press we have, as it reports on health science, is not “best” by any stretch of the imagination.  But there is no doubt that having the press monitoring those in power, rather than not, is an absolutely crucial minimal step toward ensuring rational and moral behavior.

With that in mind, I return to the topic of the FCTC, the meeting of unelected, mandate-less anti-tobacco extremist WHO operatives in Seoul.  In addition to their belief that they should have imperialistic control over the world, dictating tax and other national policies, they ejected the press from observing their discussions.  So, not only do they have no representation from the primary stakeholders in the matter (users of tobacco/nicotine) and explicitly forbid participation or even observation by the secondary stakeholders (the manufacturers of those products), but they also are working to prohibit the press from telling the public what they are doing.  (For more details, this has been covered in the original breaking of the story by Drew Johnson, and by Dick Puddlecote (who took the best title for a post on the topic) and others.)

This is nothing unusual.  It is just a particularly obvious manifestation of the cult of secrecy and isolation practiced by the anti-tobacco extremists (who are, of course, the predominant anti-THR liars).  These people are not interested in the truth — indeed, they are afraid of it.  Conversations make religious zealots nervous.  Moreover — and most of their useful idiots probably do not realize this, but those pulling the strings (and pulling in the money) know — when most people learn the truth, they rise up against these extremists.

Of course, that is not how they spin it.  Their claim is that the Giant Evil All-Powerful Tobacco Industry will somehow derail their plans if they deal with the world honestly.  But think about what kind of idiot someone would have to be to actually believe that rhetoric.  The tobacco industry has far less power and room to act than the tobacco control industry.  Which, after all, is not demanding an international excise tax be imposed on all the people of the world, and companies have six lawyers look over anything they say because they are afraid to speak up.  As further evidence it is only necessary to consider the scientific claims made by each:

Scientific research and claims coming out of the tobacco industry are scrupulously researched and very modestly reported — far more than, say, the average health science researcher working in other areas.  Indeed, in the entire realm of health science, the industry’s research may well be the only body of health science research today that fulfills those ideals of science you are taught in grade school about conservatism and complete reporting.  Indeed, it probably exceeds that idea and is far too timid to be useful.  Those of us outside the industry doing science in support of THR and general rationality are not so over-compensating, but we do tend to fulfill that ideal.

When the tobacco control industry seeks to attack the scientific credibility of the industry (or those outside the industry who produce science that supports THR or otherwise disagrees with the extremists), the single arrow in their quiver is to talk about the behavior of the industry in the 1970s or before.  (The world would be much better if the anti-tobacco people who actually remember the 1970s and think they are still living in them leave the discussion.)  They have nothing more recent than that which might tend to suggest that their opponents do dishonest research.  They certainly never dare try to argue about the research on its merits, which they would surely lose.

By contrast, the tobacco control industry knows that it can get away with spewing obviously false drivel, anti-scientific even by the standards of “public health”.  This is not the behavior of people who are afraid of being confronted by a powerful enemy.  It is the behavior of people who think they own the whole world, and have the monopoly on words that previous generations of imperialists had on guns (or horsemen or legions or phalanxes).

But like past imperialists, they know that their monopoly is tenuous because there are a lot more of “them” (those that prefer truth and freedom — i.e., us) out there.  Once the people are armed 1/10th as well as the imperialists, the latter’s ambitions do not last long.  So they have to keep us disarmed.  They have to keep the average person so ill-informed that they do not even know what is going on (thus the anti-THR — and anti-smoking — lies), and they have to keep those of us who would inform the people excluded and beaten down.

So as was noted in the comments to me on a recent post (and as, in fairness to myself, I actually did realize), I did not need to bother archiving a copy of what I was commenting on, because there was no chance that the liars (the American Cancer Society in that case) would attempt to cover their tracks.  They cannot.  They have cornered themselves.

Less than decade ago, the tobacco control industry would have been able to reign in their imperialism and negotiate an honorable sensible victory for health that would have made the world a better place.  But instead, they redoubled their misbehavior and extremism.  They have closed their ranks, increased their use of force, and launched an Inquisition.  They are cornered now and have to keep the people disarmed by lying and avoiding scrutiny.  They have reached the point where they win or they die (metaphorically, of course: their professional reputations die, they are remembered with all the fondness of those who gave us alcohol Prohibition, and they quite possibly take down their fellow travelers like ACS).

Some supporters of THR believe that the best way to further the cause is to negotiate with the tobacco control industry, to beg for their permission to act and to concede that giving people freedom need not be a part of that deal.  They might want to review the history of what it took to bring about the retreat of empires that did not have to contend with a free press.

Aside

Just a quick aside:  I was just noticing some examples of the common ANTZ practice of responding to justifiable ridicule (about anti-THR lies or their general tobacco prohibition campaigns) by suggesting the existence of criticism is evidence that their critics … Continue reading

American Cancer Society are liars

by Carl V Phillips

As I have documented, the American Cancer Society (ACS) was one of the most aggressive anti-THR liars of the 2000s, actively campaigning to convince people that smokeless tobacco use was as harmful as smoking.  They have continued to be solidly a part of the anti-THR cabal in the 2010s, but they have not been so aggressive about the propaganda.  So in “honor” of today being the ACS’s “Great American Smokeout”, I thought I would see how much they might have corrected their lies.  It took me about five seconds to figure out the answer was “not much at all”.

Take just this one page, with about one screen’s worth of information.  (Archived here in case they try to memory-hole it, though they do not seem particularly concerned about being caught perpetuating stupid lies.)  It was the top hit from their own search engine, so I cannot be accused of digging through their archives to find obscure, non-prominent lies.

There is nothing here that they have not been corrected on numerous times.  So an intention to mislead people — blatant intentional lying — is the only way to interpret their behavior.  Let’s step through the entire content:

Are spit tobacco and snuff safe alternatives to smoking?

Can the question itself be a lie?  It turns out yes.  Many questions are intentionally designed to distract from the truth.  In this case, “safe alternative” is a strawman to distract the reader away from the relevant question, “is smokeless tobacco use an enormously safer low-risk alternative to smoking”.  No one seriously claims that ST is safe.  Nothing is 100% safe, so they could ask the same question and get the same answer about whether eating apples is a safe alternative to smoking.  People with a poor understanding of risk often think there is some dichotomy between the risky and the safe, which is obviously false, and ACS is blatantly taking advantage of this flaw in our national education, and perpetuating it rather than trying to help correct it.

As for “spit tobacco”, it is not a lie, but it is morally rather similar.  This is a term that was made up by anti-THR activists to try to denigrate ST users.   Can you imagine if they used similar derogatory unprofessional phrasing to describe, say, gay sex acts that increase cancer risk.  It would be a scandal.  Luckily for them, being tobacco-user-phobic is allowed.

Many terms are used to describe tobacco that is put in the mouth, such as spit, oral, smokeless, chewing, and snuff tobacco. Using any kind of spit or smokeless tobacco is a major health risk. It is less lethal than smoking tobacco, but less lethal is a far cry from safe.

Not too long ago, ACS would have said, in one way or another, that the risk is the same.  But the liars have been called on that enough times that only the most clueless still say it.  But instead of changing to the truth that encourage people to quit smoking, they just came up with another version of the anti-THR lie.  While there is no bright-line definition of “major health risk”, I suspect that no one would consider that phrase to include what we know about ST: “risk so small that it is not measurable, and there is no definitive link with any disease”.  This is a rather close cry from safe, it turns out.

More nicotine is absorbed from spit tobacco than is absorbed from one cigarette. Overall, people who dip or chew get about the same amount of nicotine as regular smokers.

Lying with literal truth, one of the classics.  The page is about health effects.  Since nicotine causes very very little or perhaps even none of the health risk from smoking, this is a red herring, meant to trick the average reader (who does not understand about nicotine).  What they say is actually not true because it is nonsense:  users of all products get as much nicotine as they choose to get, so it makes no sense to even make the comparison.

The most harmful cancer-causing substances in spit tobacco are tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) which have been found at levels 100 times higher than the nitrosamines that are allowed in bacon, beer, and other foods. These carcinogens cause lung cancer in lab animals, even when injected rather than inhaled.

Another classic, the scary, scary chemicals.  Even if ST use does cause cancer, there is no way anyone can definitively claim what chemicals are responsible, let alone most harmful.  And, yes, mega-doses of those chemicals when injected in particular ways can be used to torture animals to death via cancer.  You know what else that is true of?  Basically everything.

Notice also that clever little “have been found”.  This is designed to distract from what is typical of products that are on the shelf today, with much lower concentrations of these chemicals than what has occasionally been found in the past.  It turns out that acetaminophen capsules have been found with lethal doses of poison in them.  Is that useful to know?

Of course, apart from all of that, the real key is that if the exposure does not cause a measurable level of cancer, then talk about cancer causing chemicals is meaningless.  It is intended to distract the reader from the truth.

The juice from smokeless tobacco is absorbed directly through the lining of the mouth. This causes sores and white patches (called leukoplakia) that often lead to cancer of the mouth.

Actually, if there is any dysplasia (pre-cancerous cellular changes), then the term leukoplakia does not apply.  But the terminology does not matter.  (So why did they include it? Because it sounds scary!)  What matters is that the superficial lesions from ST use do not often cause to cancer of the mouth.  Indeed, based on the science we have, there is not evidence that they ever do so.

People who use spit and other types of smokeless tobacco greatly increase their risk of other cancers, including those of the mouth, pharynx (throat), esophagus (the swallowing tube that connects the mouth and the stomach), stomach, and pancreas. Other effects of using spit tobacco include chronic bad breath, stained teeth and fillings, gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, tooth abrasion, and loss of bone in the jaw. Users may also have problems with high blood pressure and may be at increased risk for heart disease.

Should I be petty and point out that their list of “other [than mouth] cancers” starts out with mouth cancer.  Nah.  I will just repeat that none of that sentence is true.  It is not even remotely defensible.  There is no detectable risk for any of those cancers, let alone all of them.  Also unsupported by the science are the tooth and gum disease claims.  (I am not sure there is any research on bad breath, but it actually seems likely that using some mint snus reduces bad breath in much the same way that chewing gum does.)

The last sentence is another classic lie via a truthful statement.  ST users might have high blood pressure and above average risk.  Who else might have these problems?  Non-users.  (“Warning:  If you do not use smokeless tobacco, you may be at increased risk for heart disease and are at risk of high blood pressure.  Half of all non-users have elevated risk for heart disease.”   All true!)

What is snus? Is it safe?  Snus (sounds like “snoose”) is a type of moist snuff first used in Sweden. It’s often flavored with spices or fruit, and is usually packaged like small tea bags. It’s also sold loose, as a moist powder. Like snuff and other spit tobaccos, snus is held between the gum and mouth tissues where the juice is absorbed into the body.

No real health claims here.  But geez, how sloppy can you get and still be allowed to have a website?   (I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to spot the errors.)

Because it’s steam-heated rather than fermented, Swedish snus has fewer tobacco-specific nitrosamines that are known to cause cancer (see above). But this doesn’t mean snus is safe.  Snus users may have a higher risk of cancer of the pancreas than non-users. They also get sores or spots in the mouth (lesions) where the snus is held. It appears that snus users may have mouth cancer more often than non-users, though more studies need to be done to confirm this.

The only part that is correct is the “see above” — as in, see what I wrote about every bit of this being wrong, so I do not have to repeat myself.

Last Medical Review: 11/08/2012
Last Revised: 11/08/2012

In some ways this is the worst bit of all.  The page is current.  These zombie lies are not just some old leftovers.  They claim it was revised and reviewed this month.  Perhaps they should get someone who knows something about science, rather than a medic, to do their reviewing.

So, as the 2012 Great American Smokeout draws to a close, with almost everyone who quit for the day soon to start smoking again, the American Cancer Society can congratulate themselves for doing their part to make sure that those smokers did not switch to a low risk alternative.  After all, if they switched, they would dramatically reduce their cancer risk, and then ACS would not be able to keep using them to bolster its own wealth and importance.