More Deaths Than COVID & Totally Preventable

On May 4, 2021 I sent the following letter to Janet Woodcock, Director of FDA ( along with copies to top officials of FDA and editors at the Washington Post and NY Times. The FDA is sitting on top of the tobacco product pesticide atrocity, and is enabling the Tobacco Cartel’s suppression of all research on pesticide contamination of tobacco products and the relationship of that concealed chemical horror to 500,000 smoking deaths a year in the US – 7 Million people a year worldwide.

I’m sure the agency’s involvement in covering up this atrocity is so deep that the present stewards of this Federal behemoth are unlikely to be able to step back and admit that they have been terribly wrong, and that organic tobacco products could in fact save many, many lives. Organic tobacco products will not stop people from smoking but they will not harm most moderate smokers – it really is that simple. If FDA disputes that, first check the hard data and then let the very simple, very inexpensive studies begin. How likely is that? Nevertheless I believe that with enough light, the truth will not only emerge but will prevail.

Hello Director Woodcock – I would like to offer data from an FDA-funded NCSU study on the relative toxicity of Little Cigars vs Cigarettes to illustrate why much or perhaps all the research on smoking and health since the 1970s is very likely severely compromised and is probably useless as science. If what I am about to show you is as the hard data says it is, then none of the extensive and very expensive smoking and health research that used Kentucky Reference Cigarettes can be used to determine the actual threat to health posed by smoking tobacco. As you know, that means virtually 100% of all research on smoking and health.

Here is a representative dataset from this FDA-funded study that goes to the heart of the unrecognized but critically important problem of severely compromised data in almost every piece of smoking & health research since the 1970s. For such a simple little graphic the depths of the conspiracy and crime it reveals is truly remarkable. If that strikes you as exaggeration please read on.

(from) “Little Cigars are More Toxic than Cigarettes and Uniquely Change the Airway Gene and Protein Expression”

The objective of the research, as you know, was to determine whether flavored Little Cigars are more toxic than non-flavored Little Cigars, and it is part of the years-long, multi-hundred million dollar campaign by FDA to regulate tobacco product flavoring. 

Like all the other data in this extensive study, which you can review yourselves by clicking the link, this dataset shows that Little Cigars tested far more toxic than cigarettes to human lung tissue. Than ALL the cigarettes – and that’s what is critically important.

That small fact is the key to why all research using Kentucky Reference cigarettes has been compromised – the fact that as your own data reveal, Kentucky Reference Cigarettes are almost equally as toxic as Marlboros and Camels. Not only this dataset but every one in the study show the same thing – Kentucky Reference Cigarettes are about as toxic as Marlboros and Camels. 

This remarkable fact is not noted by the researchers, who are laser-focused on discovering whether flavored little cigars are more toxic than unflavored little cigars. After extensive lab work and analysis, their research finds that both flavored and unflavored Little Cigars are equally toxic to human lung tissue. That makes them satisfied enough to recommend that all Little Cigars should be banned, not just the flavored ones. The researchers express puzzlement at why the flavored Swisher Sweets aren’t more toxic than the Unflavored, but they dismiss the finding in favor of the conclusion that regardless, Little Cigars are far more toxic than cigarettes. All cigarettes. Including the Kentucky Reference Cigarettes.

That is why I call this NCSU study clear evidence, yet to be proven by testing of Kentucky Reference Cigarettes, that the past 50 years of smoking and health research using them as the baseline have been so compromised as to be useless.

This data is from lab tests I commissioned as part of an independent research/writing project. The lab is fully qualified and credentialed to perform the tests. To my knowledge neither FDA nor any other public health agency has ever published such research. However, it is easily replicated and verified.

Wouldn’t you say that if Kentucky Reference cigarettes are as toxic as Marlboros and Camels then this data at least suggests that there may be some unrecognized confounding variables affecting research findings using Kentucky Reference Cigarettes? Wouldn’t that merit a quick test or two on some of the Kentucky Reference Cigarettes that are surely available in any of the 14 FDA ‘Tobacco Research’ labs?

Wouldn’t you say that the DDT, Carbendazim and Cypermethrin in the Swisher Sweets, among the 13 unique fungicides and insecticides in this brand (shown in red), might explain the differences in toxicity between this product and the Marlboro and Camel cigarettes, both in this data and in your FDA-funded research?

And the Kentucky Reference Cigarettes as well, wouldn’t you say?

As you know Director Woodcock, Kentucky Reference Cigarettes have been the baseline standard for tobacco product research since the 1970s. They are the source of “tobacco” smoke and extract for most if not all of thousands of smoking and health studies. 

Because they are the scientific reference standards for tobacco smoke, one would assume that when used as intended they would actually yield tobacco smoke or extract data, free of important confounding variables, and especially confounding variables that are known to the manufacturers of these reference cigarettes but never revealed to the research scientists using them as baseline standard references for tobacco smoke. However as you can see, at least some of the toxicity of Marlboros and Camels is clearly due to pesticide residues, and the difference in human lung cell toxicity between the three Marlboro, Camel and Kentucky Reference and the Swisher Sweets can rather dramatically be seen in the pesticides that are unique to Swisher Sweets. 

Director Woodcock – what do you think would be the results of the NCSU study, or any of the thousands of other such compromised studies, if USDA Organic Tobacco cigarettes had been used as the baseline reference instead of Kentucky Reference cigarettes? Please look again at the dataset. 

If Kentucky Reference Cigarettes are in fact contaminated with an unknown burden of pesticide residues, and if that burden makes them comparable in toxicity to other commercial cigarette brands, that how is it that they can be used as a baseline standard for tobacco smoke in research? What about the role of these unrecognized confounding variables in all the ‘smoking & health’ data that has used these ‘reference standards’ since the 1970s?

And Director Woodcock, may I point out that in my data, USDA organic tobacco cigarettes were used as the reference standard and as you can see in the data, is is pretty clear that the organic tobacco cigarettes are far less toxic than even the ‘natural’ tobacco cigarette, which is itself less toxic than the Marlboros, Camels and Swisher Sweets. 

This is an easily-settled issue. Let’s test Kentucky Reference Cigarettes – current and archived samples, and get a clear picture of the hidden confounding variables that, if present, have been compromising smoking and health research for decades.

FDA has 14 full-scale tobacco research centers and spends hundreds of millions of dollars pursuing research on the dangers of mint and other flavors in tobacco products. With a budget of $500 I, or anyone else with access to a qualified pesticide testing lab, could prove or disprove the presence of pesticide residues in Kentucky Reference Cigarettes, and with a budget of $50,000 I could test the top 100 brands of cigarettes and little cigars for this hidden source of dangerous toxicity to smokers. In the hundreds of millions that FDA has funded in “tobacco” research, no such study has ever been funded by FDA. 

Director Woodcock, I know that in the past, for various reasons, FDA has tried to suppress public awareness of the differences between organic, pesticide-free tobacco and pesticide-contaminated tobacco. However, in the face of the evidence I am presenting in this message I hope that FDA will overcome whatever political pressures have caused FDA to abandon its duty to protect the public and will cause FDA to take a more responsible approach to determining the relative hazards and safety of organic vs contaminated tobacco products.

To close this message I am enclosing links to a number of blog posts where I cite peer-reviewed science and hard data in support of the idea that the pesticides in tobacco products represent an unrecognized, non-trivial threat to the health of smokers which is almost completely preventable. Legislation that recognized the role of pesticide exposure in smoking disease and death, and acted to limit or eliminate that exposure, would do more for public health than eliminating mint and fruit flavors, which has been the FDA’s rather absurd passion and focus for decades.

Director Woodcock – open the shades and let in the light.

Sincerely, Bill Drake

This post offers hard evidence and historic documentation of the role of Federal agencies in concealing the health threat to smokers created by unregulated pesticide exposure
This post documents why the US Surgeon General’s cigarette pack “warnings’ never mention tobacco
This post offers a look at the historical origins of today’s breast cancer, diabetes and obesity epidemics in the trans-generational impact of DDT and Organochlorine pesticide contaminants in cigarettes 1950-1972, and the current state of DDT in tobacco products in 2021
This post links new hard data on pesticide contaminants in cigarettes with the elevated health risks this creates for Diabetic smokers, and the simple strategy that individual smokers can use to eliminate the threat.
A radical “quit smoking” plan that will probably offend a lot of non-smokers but that could help a lot of Diabetic smokers quit hurting themselves without having to quit.
7 Million Smokers Dead Every Year; 50 Million Sickened and Crippled – how much of this is preventable?
This post links hard data on DDT in Swisher Sweets brand of little cigars, smoked by millions of young women, with peer-reviewed published research on pre-natal genetic damage to the baby
This post links hard data on hidden fungicides in tobacco brands popular in marginalized communities with peer-reviewed published research that demonstrates that exposure to these same fungicides is strongly associated with testicular cancer
Any exposure to several of the pesticides shown to contaminate tobacco products are proven to have greater impact on babies with Latinx, African American, American Indian and Pacific Island genetics.
Could the unexplained link between smoking and suicide be explained by the known link between pesticide exposure and suicide, once you become aware of the concealed pesticide contamination in cigarettes?
There’s nothing spontaneous if a young smoker loses her baby because the insecticides and fungicides in her cigarettes have interrupted fetal development creating ‘non-viable offspring’ doing to her what they are designed to do to bugs.
When a pregnant woman is exposed to DDT during a critical time window in her female baby’s development that female baby will have 4X greater risk of developing breast cancer if she is Black or Brown-skinned.

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