In the international vaping community, Dr. Christopher Russell is a rather highly regarded behavioral psychologist and research scientist for Scotland’s Centre for Substance Use Research. He has spent years collecting, analyzing, and documenting the stories and experiences of thousands of vapers in an attempt to identify the behavioral and environmental factors that create a successful and permanent transition from smoking to vaping.
So, imagine his surprise when two anti-tobacco lobbies, the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, sent him a rather threatening letter just before he was to depart for the 2016 Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum in Belgium this coming week. Almost immediately, the letter begins to reprimand Dr. Russell for even considering attending such an event.
The letter ends perhaps even more aggressively,
“We hope that your participation in the GTNF 2016 programme was just a misunderstanding, which will soon be rectified…”
Anti-tobacco lobbies need to do their homework
The letter signed by the two lobbies not only threatens Dr. Russell’s career and professional reputation, but it also indicates an extreme lack of research into the scientist’s very prominent, anti-tobacco background. As a leading advocate of vaping and e-cigs as a form of Nicotine Replacement Therapy to quit smoking, Dr. Russell should be applauded by organizations like the ENSP and the CTFK for attending these conferences rather than threatening to derail their careers.
If anti-tobacco lobbies truly want to get kids off of tobacco, then they need to support the medical community in their research. And this research often includes learning more and more about the behavioral tendencies that lead to smoking addiction. Unfortunately, this usually requires scientists like Dr. Russell to occasionally attend conferences sponsored by Big Tobacco
Perhaps it’s time for groups like the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to check their puritanical ‘morals’ at the door before writing any more threatening letters to our leaders of the scientific community. They are only making themselves look bad and no one else.
Read the letter written to Dr. Christopher Russell in its entirety.
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