April 20, 2016

Key health websites blindfold consumers on tobacco product risks

An information quarantine functions similarly to a medical quarantine – think of your favorite zombie movie or television show in which the infected person is secluded from everyone else to protect the overall public. In order to justify a quarantine, there has to be clear evidence that the need to protect population health should overrule personal autonomy. In the case of providing information on differential health risks of nicotine products, “The evidence to date does not come close to establishing that there would be a loss to public health from making this information widely available from credible sources,” Kozlowski says. Kozlowski and Sweanor reviewed several major health websites—including the CDC, Mayo Clinic, American Cancer Society, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Cancer Institute—and found three types of examples of information on smokeless tobacco, “but no-to-modest efforts to inform consumers of the significantly lower risks compared to cigarettes for lifelong users,” the researchers write.

Source: Key health websites blindfold consumers on tobacco product risks

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