To the Editor:
"E-Cigarettes at a Crossroads" (Business Day, June 13) shines light on Big Tobacco’s next cash cow.
E-cigarettes are a very effective delivery system for the addictive drug nicotine. Nicotine is particularly dangerous for our children, since early use increases the risk of addiction involving both nicotine and other drugs.
With its enthusiastic endorsement of e-cigarettes, the tobacco industry is once again marketing the disease of addiction to this most vulnerable customer base. As the old saying goes, "The best way to get a lifetime user is to start him early."
Flavorings like chocolate, cherry and peach are clearly not aimed at the typical middle-aged consumer seeking to quit an addiction involving tobacco, and these products have not been proved to be effective in accomplishing that goal.
More than one in seven Americans already have the disease of addiction. Are we prepared to knowingly stand by and allow Big Tobacco to increase that number in the name of profit yet again?
JEFFREY B. LANE
The writer is chairman of the board of CASAColumbia (formerly the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University).