“Utah Man Causes Fire While Smoking, Suffers Injuries”; “24-Year-Old Willard Man Critically Injured After Cigarette Sparks Fire”
These are real headlines I see on a weekly basis when researching the costs associated with smoking. We hear health agencies talk endlessly about the harm that smoking causes. We hear the anti-smoking groups talk about the associated costs to our medical systems due to cancer, emphysema and asthma. What I don’t hear are the costs from cigarette-related fires.
Why are our health agencies, fire departments and land-management agencies not raising concern over this and thinking outside the box? Why are they not fighting for smoke-free alternatives?
To quote one of my favorite movies, “Only at the precipice do we evolve.” Our society is at the precipice, and it is time to evolve tobacco-control strategy into that of tobacco-harm reduction to save lives. Innovative steps are needed to further reduce the smoking rates, not waste taxpayer money on decades-old programs that are failing.
It’s time for a change in approach and to stop ignoring the facts. Failure to evolve and recognize tobacco-harm reduction as a method to reduce the smoking rates is nothing short of planned genocide of 62 million American smokers and those directly and indirectly tied to the deadly habit. There are hundreds if not thousands of U.S. and international studies spread across decades of global history that prove tobacco-harm reduction works, yet agencies do nothing.
I call on our lawmakers, health-care and government agencies to open their eyes and realize that we are at the precipice. I urge them to take innovative measures to protect the lives of residents across the state of Utah.
Director, Utah Vapers