Facebook, is sometimes an interesting place, most users don’t pay much attention to some of the dramas occurring right in front of them. I notice this late last week. It appears that Dr. Ellen Hahn of the prestigious University of Kentucky and member of the Kentucky Center Smoke Free Policy felt compelled to write e-mail to members of the Madison County’s Health department, in Madison County accusing Dr. Brad Rodu, a well respected member of Tobacco Harm Reduction and a Professor at the equally prestigious University of Louisville College of Medicine of being a Board member of a Tobacco company. It is a little strange she would do this because she knows Dr. Rodu and knows very well this is not true. Now, one has to ask what her purpose in doing this was. Madison County Health Department was determining if they should ban e-cigarettes an alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes in public places. Dr. Hahn was using her prestigious position as a Professor at the University of Kentucky Nursing School and member of the KCSP to influence the MCHD to ban e-cigarettes, it was that simple. Dr. Hahn’s email: http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/5513/hahnrodu.jpg
It really doesn’t matter who the misaligned Doctor was at this point. There are number of good Doctors that she could have chosen. Just because they have accepted an Open Grant, that was from the tobacco industry doesn’t make them any more of a shill, than her taking grant money from the Robert Woods Foundation owned by Johnson and Johnson (maker of NRT) to do tobacco and radon research. She does advocate the use of Nicotine Replacement therapy products. It appears that using nicotine in a NRT is perfectly fine but using it in a e-cigarette is bad. http://www.mc.uky.edu/nursing/research/faculty/Grants/hahn13.htm
A enterprising volunteer group of people obtained the e-mail using the FOIA and knowing who Dr. Brad Rodu is, was very upset about her sending misinformation to the MCHD. They did e-mailed Dr. Hahn a request to retract her statement. When this was not forth coming they went to the KCSP page on Facebook and ask for a retraction. Every post on the KCSP page was deleted by the Administrator of the KCSP page. We wish we had a copy of the other comments that were deleted as well. Most importantly members of the KCSP was very rude calling these volunteers shills, said the volunteers worked for the tobacco companies (BT don’t have e-cigs) and then they worked for Big e-cigarette Industry (doesn’t exist).
Since most members of Anti-smoking groups are paid, they have no understanding of volunteers spending their own time without pay defending what they believe in. According to statements by this volunteer group, they wish to see more people have a choice in alternatives to smoking traditional cigarettes; research has shown that smoke and tar are the main killers not nicotine.
The group’s primary interest is e-cigarettes but they do support the use of smokeless tobacco, not for BT benefit, but because the research shows it to be much less harmful than smoking. Research shows that NRT are not very helpful and some smokers are unable to quit without something that is better than NRT. We at AES found over 3 years ago that the E-cigarette would help us make the transition from being a smoker to a vaper. This was a totally surprise to many of us, we never planned on a total transition, just using the e-cig as an alternative in the sense that we used it when we could not smoke. We still don’t consider e-cigarettes a cession device; it is an alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. Most of us would return to smoking if they are taken from us.