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NOT PEER REVIEWED It is disappointing that Robert Proctor’s advocacy for tobacco abolition, so clearly expressed in his magisterial ‘Golden Holocaust’ (2011) and, indeed, in Tobacco Control (1), appears to have been diluted to the same degree that he now seems in favour of diluting the concentration of nicotine in cigarettes. And this in spite of the various potential difficulties he points out in implementing the proposal to reduce nicotine in cigarettes to sub-addictive levels, not least that it could well result in decades-long delays before such cigarettes might eventually replace conventional ones.
I also have argued that the only realistic way to deal with the tobacco problem is through abolition (2). This is easier than it might seem, because, as Robert Proctor himself has said (1):
‘[S]moking is not a recreational drug; most smokers do not like the fact they smoke and wish they could quit.’
Is it not time for tobacco abolition, rather than ‘control’, to become part of the debate?
1. Proctor RN. Why ban the sale of cigarettes? The case for abolition. Tobacco Control 2013;22:i27-i30.