(NaturalNews) The FDA has released nine new graphic warning labels that will be required on U.S. cigarettes, offering grotesque visual images designed to dissuade smokers from purchasing cigarettes. At first glance, this might seem like a clever and effective strategy for reducing deaths from smoking cigarettes. After all, there's a lot of scientific evidence that says smoking cigarettes is bad for you. But there's something missing in this whole debate that neither the FDA nor health authorities dare talk about: there is a huge difference between smoking chemically-laced "processed" cigarettes versus natural tobacco leaves.
In the minds of most people, "cigarettes" and "tobacco" are synonymous. If cigarettes are bad for you, then so is tobacco, they believe. In fact, we've all been trained to use the terms interchangeably. If someone is "addicted to cigarettes," we also say, without even thinking about it, that they are "addicted to tobacco." But as you'll learn here, tobacco is a plant while cigarettes are a highly processed product laced with a recipe of deadly synthetic chemicals.
"Tobacco" is not equivalent to "cigarettes" any more than an ear of corn is equivalent to a can of soda sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup.
Or, as another example, "tobacco" is not equivalent to "cigarettes" any more than a grain of wholesome wheat is equivalent to a loaf of processed white bread with chemical preservatives.
Cigarettes are not simply rolled tobacco leaves. They are tobacco plus a cocktail of other nasty additives and synthetic chemicals that don't even exist in nature.
Tobacco is an amazing, miraculous plant with a multitude of uses, while cigarettes are highly processed, chemically-laced products made with filler and synthetic ingredients that no one in their right mind would smoke if they had any sense. The problem, though, is that no one in the FDA -- nor the entire western medical profession, it seems -- makes any distinction between natural tobacco and highly processed, chemically-laced cigarettes. To hear them say it, all cigarettes are equally bad for you, regardless of what's in them (or not).
And that's a critical oversight. Because the simple but unpopular truth is that smoking natural tobacco leaves, while clearly dangerous for your health, has nowhere near the health risks of smoking cigarettes made with chemical additives.
Do not misunderstand my position here: I am against smoking. Secondhand smoke really does harm children. Smoking anything on a regular basis is dangerous to your lungs and heart. As a natural health advocate, I strongly encourage people to quit smoking no matter what they smoke. But as a critical thinker, I must insist we all be honest about where the risks from smoking processed manufactured cigarettes really come from. The tobacco plant is being unfairly maligned in this entire debate, it turns out.
Why tobacco (the plant) deserves an honest assessment rather than radical condemnation
I'm not a proponent of smoking anything, and I don't smoke any plant or product whatsoever. Even smoking natural tobacco leaves is not good for your lungs, but smoking processed cigarettes is far, far worse. I'm publishing this article because I can't stand by and watch the FDA shamefully condemn an entire plant (tobacco) when the real culprit of all this health damage is not the plant itself but the toxic chemicals added to the plant in the manufacture of a cigarette.
Remember, the FDA, DEA and pharmaceutical industry has also viciously attacked another plant -- hemp! And the hysteria leveled against hemp were all based on fabricated lies, fear mongering and a campaign of disinformation. Almost everything we were warned about hemp (and marijuana) turned out to be completely false, and a similar campaign of disinformation is being unfairly (and unscientifically) waged against the tobacco plant.
Blaming tobacco for the health ills of cigarettes is like blaming corn plants for the increased risk of cancer that comes from eating corn dogs. (The cancer increase actually comes from the presence of sodium nitrite in the processed meat, in case you were wondering.)
The brainwashing of the population on this issue of tobacco has been so successful that many people reading this article with react emotionally against the words presented here, in a knee-jerk reaction, insisting that tobacco (the plant) MUST be bad for your health because we've all been taught that for as long as we can remember! "Tobacco" is something we've been emotionally conditioned to react to without thinking... almost as if "tobacco = evil."
But that's a gross oversimplification. Because what really makes cigarettes dangerous are all the non-tobacco ingredients you'll find inside.
What's in a processed cigarette?
A typical cigarette contains a nasty cocktail of synthetic chemicals that don't exist in a tobacco leaf. A total of 599 chemical additives have been approved for use in cigarettes (http://quitsmoking.about.com/cs/nicotineinha...), and when those chemicals are lit up and smoked, they can produce up to 4,000 chemicals that the user inhales.
Those are 599 chemicals that don't exist in a natural tobacco leaf. You could actually remove all the tobacco from cigarettes and replace it with cardboard and the cigarette would still be just as deadly thanks to the all the chemicals and additives. The tobacco leaf itself has relatively little to do with the overall health effects of a typical processed cigarette. Smoking the burning vapors of synthetic chemicals is a form of slow suicide. But smoking an actual leaf of tobacco -- absent chemical additives -- is undeniably less dangerous to human health.
Also, as another way to look at this, consider this simple fact: Smoking SPINACH carries roughly the same health danger as smoking tobacco leaf. There is nothing particular special about tobacco that makes it any more carcinogenic than smoking any other leafy plant. The nicotine content, of course, makes tobacco highly addictive, but that's different from the question of the toxic dangers of its smoke.
And yet if someone sold "spinach cigarettes" that combined dried spinach leaves with hundreds of toxic chemical additives into a cigarette, it would seem downright retarded to say that "spinach causes cancer." And yet that's the same language used with tobacco right now. How often have you heard the phrase "tobacco causes cancer?" Again, if we are to approach this issue with intellectual honesty, we need to differentiate between the natural tobacco plant and the highly processed manufactured cigarettes packed with toxic chemicals.
Chemotherapy is far more toxic than smoking cigarettes
Smoking toxic chemicals is about as idiotic as injecting them, and yet an entire medical industry now exists around the idea of injecting far deadlier chemicals than what you'll find in cigarette smoke. It's called chemotherapy, and it will kill you even faster than smoking an entire case of cigarettes a day.
Notice that the FDA does not require graphic warnings about chemotherapy? People vomiting, their muscles wasting away, their hair falling out and eyes looking hollow... that's the true face of chemo, and those who undergo it and somehow manage to come out alive are actually "chemo survivors" more than "cancer survivors." So why aren't there graphic warnings about chemotherapy?
The answer, of course, is because in the medical mythologies that characterize modern western medicine, chemotherapy is labeled a "treatment" for cancer. This is a powerful example of the mythology of modern medicine because one of the most prominent side effects of chemotherapy is, believe it or not, CANCER!
So the "treatment" for cancer used throughout western medicine actually causes cancer. If the medical system is going to depart so far from rational thinking, they might as well just claim that smoking cigarettes is a "treatment" for cancer too. In fact, it wasn't too long ago that virtually the entire medical profession promoted cigarettes as therapeutic medicine that could whiten your teeth (seriously!), improve your mental focus and even make you popular with the ladies.
Don't believe me? Read the Journal of the American Medical Association from just a few decades ago, where it carried full-page ads promoting the great health benefits of smoking cigarettes. "More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette" was one of the most famous ads repeatedly run in JAMA. (http://www.naturalnews.com/021949.html)
Eating certain types of processed food is just as dangerous as smoking processed cigarettes
Remember: Cigarettes are essentially processed smokes in the same way that the packaged factory-made food items at the grocery store are processed foods. In fact, some processed foods contain just as many chemical additives as processed cigarettes, yet people don't even think twice about gobbling down a sandwich made from processed bread and extremely toxic processed deli meat made with known cancer-causing chemicals.
So why don't you see the FDA releasing graphic labels that have to be placed on bacon, sausage, hot dogs and other processed meats that promote cancer? Because the FDA and the American medical establishment has declared war on tobacco while completely ignoring the health risks associated with toxic chemical additives in the food supply.
It's no exaggeration: What cigarette smoke does to your lungs, processed packaged meat is doing to your pancreas and liver!
If the FDA was genuinely concerned about protecting consumers from deadly additives in processed products, it would require cancer warnings on bacon and hot dogs, diabetes warnings on soda pop and heart disease warnings on fried snack chips. There should be warnings about MSG, aspartame, sodium nitrite, partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils and artificial food colors. But there are no warnings whatsoever for those chemicals in the food supply, which just goes to show you that the warning labels on cigarettes have more to do with politics than public health.
The FDA, it seems, is very selective about which poisons it wants you to know about versus those it wants to keep quiet. If the FDA had any actual ethics, it would warn consumers about ALL the toxins in foods, beverages and consumer products, not just a very small number of selected ones that are convenient targets.
The FDA even goes out of its way to force natural cigarette companies to lie in their marketing materials about how dangerous smoking tobacco can be for your health. Natural American Spirit cigarettes, for example, which are made with no chemical additives whatsoever, are required to state, "No additives in our tobacco does NOT mean a safer cigarette." (https://www.nascigs.com)
Actually, it does. Reducing the chemical additives reduces the carcinogens in the cigarette smoke. It's basic chemistry. If you inhale fewer toxins, it's less carcinogenic. The FDA does not seem to get this. Of course, the entire medical industry doesn't even acknowledge any difference between LIVE foods versus DEAD foods, so this shouldn't be surprising. In fact, the FDA is waging war against live foods such as raw milk, raw almonds and fresh vegetables, which just goes to show you how deeply committed the agency is to dead foods (which lead to dead people).
Please don't misunderstanding my position on smoking, by the way. Smoking anything is carcinogenic due to the chemicals produced by burning anything. I don't smoke, and I don't advocate smoking even natural tobacco. Smoking is a nasty habit for lots of reasons, and I strongly support the anti-smoking laws that prevent people from lighting up in public places (but I fully support someone's right to light up in their own home if that's their choice). But as an award-winning journalist who consistently exposes the hypocrisy in the medical establishment and the FDA, I must point out that the greatest health dangers associated with smoking cigarettes come from the chemical additives and "filler" ingredients in those cigarettes, not the tobacco leaf itself.
The FDA's new cigarette warning labels may be quite gross, but what's really sickening is how the FDA utterly refuses to outlaw the truly dangerous additives in the food supply and the personal care products industry. While the agency wages war on tobacco, it openly allows hundreds of known chemical poisons to be used in foods, lotions, shampoos and beverages. It's "commitment to public safety," it turns out, is strictly limited to efforts that target just one industry -- the tobacco industry.
What the FDA doesn't bother telling you is that even if you don't smoke, all the toxic chemicals in the processed meat you're eating will probably kill you anyway. Where's the graphic warning label on hot dogs?
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About the author:
Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month.
With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.
In addition to being the co-star of the popular GAIAM TV series called Secrets to Health, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.
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