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'Quitting Isn't That Easy'
Date:6/23/2008

An Open Letter to Barack Obama

LOUISVILLE, Ky., June 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following open letter to Senator Barack Obama was published in Sunday's Chicago Tribune.

"Quitting isn't that easy

ChicagoTribune.com

June 22, 2008

Dear Sen. Obama,

I viewed with great interest your recent comments about your struggle to quit smoking. As a professor of medicine with a long-term research program focused on tobacco use and its consequences, I strongly believe that your discomfort is entirely unnecessary; your dependency on cigarettes can readily be resolved.

First, understand that you are not alone. Some 25 million adult Americans are inveterate smokers -- that's about 50 percent of all who smoke. They are unable or unwilling to stop using tobacco and nicotine. For them, conventional quit-smoking tactics, which require abstinence, simply don't work. A growing number of public health experts -- including Britain's Royal College of Physicians, one of the world's oldest and most prestigious medical societies -- believe inveterate smokers could benefit from alternative tobacco products that are effective quit-smoking aids and vastly safer substitutes for cigarettes.

The Royal College has observed that "smokers smoke predominantly for nicotine" and "nicotine itself is not especially hazardous." You probably appreciate that nicotine is among the most powerful of addictive substances. But nicotine doesn't cause any smoking-related disease. In fact, nicotine is about as safe as caffeine, another addictive drug consumed safely by millions of Americans.

Research and consumer experience show that smokers can obtain satisfying doses of nicotine from smoke-free (and spit-free) tobacco products. Available as small packets or pellets of tobacco that are placed inside the upper lip, modern smokeless tobacco products can be used invisibly in all social settings, including stressful press conferences.

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SOURCE Dr. Brad Rodu
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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