This century, The World Health Organization estimates that one billion people will die early from smoking cigarettes. Despite governments spending billions of dollars on tobacco control, and decades of programs designed to help smokers quit, the number of cigarette smokers worldwide continues to increase.
But there is hope. Vapor technology found in e-cigarettes offers smokers their best chance to quit by using products that are at least 95 percent safer than cigarettes. Vapor technology does not require burning tobacco, so it can deliver nicotine—the chemical that makes cigarettes addictive—without the tar or 40 other carcinogens found in cigarette smoke. When it comes to harm reduction, vaping is a clear positive step forward. As the saying goes, “ nicotine addicts, tar kills .”
Despite its health benefits, vaping faces strong opposition from the government and a variety of special interests. A Billion Lives, a new documentary that hits theaters worldwide on October 26th, is an in-depth response to Senator Ed Markey’s claim that “today’s electronic cigarettes are no better than the Joe Camels of the past.”
In what follows, the film’s director Aaron Biebert exposes the special interests that will stop at nothing to ban the best hope for smokers who want to quit their deadly habit.
Jared Meyer: Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration finalized rules that it estimates will destroy 99 percent of the U.S. vapor industry. But this was not the first time that the FDA tried to effectively outlaw the industry. Can you explain how the FDA previously tried to keep smokers from switching to vaping.