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Winners and losers

Number of visits: Date:2012-03-27 10:50
There are bound to be winners and losers in any change in product use as radical as this situation. The winners will be the hundreds of thousands who won't die from smoking-related disease (as e-cigarettes cannot cause cancer, heart disease or arterial disease). The losers will be: ■The tobacco industry, until they themselves change and move into the e-cigarette market - and there are clear signs many tobacco corporations are planning to do this ■The pharmaceutical industry, who will lose tens of millions in NRT (quit-smoking drug) sales, and hundreds of millions in lost sales of pharmacotherapies for sick smokers (chemotherapy drugs, COPD drugs, cardiac drugs, vascular drugs). ■Government, who will lose substantial tobacco tax revenue. The pharmaceutical industry will most likely be the biggest loser as e-cigarette sales immediately take a chunk out of NRT sales (nicotine patches, gum and drugs) - because if smoking is virtually harmless, there is simply no need to quit. This is a $1bn global market. People enjoy smoking and if they have an even more enjoyable, safer alternative, there is little reason to buy expensive (and sometimes dangerous [2]) quit-smoking medicines. Because the quit-smoking pharmaceutical trade is so lucrative, pharma has put millions into trying to have e-cigarettes banned. Then, of course, there is the fortune made in the supply of chemotherapy drugs and similar treatments for sick smokers. This drug trade is probably worth at least a hundred times the NRT trade - and as smokers convert to e-cigarettes, and therefore the sickness and death rate starts to drop, pharma's drug income will be hit terribly hard. In Sweden, every smoker who switched to Snus was one less who got sick or died from smoking. The number of smokers was reduced by 45%, and the death rate fell by a similar amount - fairly convincing proof of the value of Harm Reduction. As the twin drug markets of NRTs for smokers and the drugs to treat them when they become sick are seriously threatened, and the pharmaceutical industry stands to lose billions of dollars in worldwide sales, pharma is absolutely desperate to have e-cigarettes taken off the market. You will see their money placed judiciously in many areas that might have been thought of as immune to 'pressure'. Currently they are spending millions on trying to get electronic cigarettes banned, as you might expect.

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