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The Tuskegee Syphilis Study

    From 1932-1972, the U. S. Public Health Service, working with the Tuskegee Institute studied the effects of untreated syphilis on African-American men in Macon County, Alabama in hopes of justifying treatment programs for blacks. Scheduled to last for 6-9 months, the study endured for 40 years.  The men were all black and primarily socially and financially burdened sharecroppers. The men were never informed or treated for their condition and were essentially regarded as human Petri dishes. Penicillin was available in 1941. The study wasn't ended until the 1970's. Wives and children were subsequently infected. Blacks have been loathe to participate in medical studies since then.

The victims were confounded by the local medical community who were in on the sick twisted joke that was this study. Tuskegee University is a black University and numerous students and staff observed and participated. Even the military allowed these men to avoid the draft which would have led to the men being treated with penicillin.

The men were never given adequate treatment for their disease.  Even after penicillin became the Public Health Service’s drug of choice for treating syphilis in 1947, researchers did not offer it to the subjects. Per Tuskegee University’s website:

they were thus deliberately left to degenerate under the ravages of tertiary syphilis—which can include tumors, heart disease, paralysis, blindness, insanity, and death. "As I see it," one of the doctors involved explained, "we have no further interest in these patients until they die."

The experiment continued in spite of the Henderson Act (1943), a public health law requiring testing and treatment for venereal disease, and in spite of the World Health Organization's Declaration of Helsinki (1964), which specified that "informed consent" was needed for experiments involving human beings.

So now the government wants to run a new "Study" on the effects of mentholated cigarettes. Why? Because they've been found by other studies to be the MOST addictive. Why? Because the menthol does two things 1. It masks the flavor. 2.  Menthol numbs the air passageways allowing the smoke to be held in longer, delivering and possibly hiding more toxins.

So, how is this similar to the Tuskegee? Menthols are chosen by 80% of african american smokers. Pick up any black periodical and you will find the primary advertisers are KOOL or some other mentholated cigarette. Which is probably why there hasn't been much outcry from the community. It's been bought out.

So the legislation Obama signed into law banned all other type of flavoring - cinammon, fruit, candy, cloves, you name it. But not menthols. And who's affected the most by that besides latinos and african-americans as a demographic?

Children -

Another groupdisproportionately affected by menthol-cigarette advertising, critics say, is young people...For example, a July 2008 study by the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass., found that roughly 44% of smokers age 12 to 17 prefer smoking menthols, compared with 35.6% of smokers age 18 to 24 and 27% of the overall U.S. smoking population. Unsurprisingly, African-American teenagers smoke menthol cigarettes at a far higher rate than teenagers of other races: roughly 80% of black teenage smokers prefer menthol cigarettes, compared with 32% of white teenagers and 45% of Hispanic teens.

So, Harvard proves menthols are a gateway product...but menthols need further study...With the two members of the Advisory council that Philip Morris gets to appoint I wouldn't hold my breath on anything coming from it...at least not without some menthol to help hold it in.

The point is that while clove cigarettes required no further study to be banned, menthols did. Menthols which have high usage rates by the very children this law is supposed to protect. Cloves..not so much.  Comparing it to Tuskegee...perhaps a bit hyperbolic, until you consider how many black children might become hooked on their product while they're "studying" it.

Here's Obama preparing to sign the law. At 00:55 he mentions "flavored cigarettes to mask the taste of tobacco" - Watch as he's signing, you may notice 2 of the four children are african american, one appears to be latina .

Corporate whores one and all.

Originally posted to JerichoJ8 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:32 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino

    Teabaggers = Tonsil Sticks - tasteless, pale, brittle, only good for depressing and making you gag

    by JerichoJ8 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:32:22 AM PDT

  •  I Think The Idea Is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1

    Cigarettes called, "Twista Lime Sweet Dreams," and "Chocolate Puffs" are sort of cynically and obviously targetted towards children... they're the flavors kids like in other things.

    They don't make Menthol Jolly Ranchers or Menthol cereal or Menthol pudding.  It isn't part of the mareketing to kids angle.

    It's true that menthols are smoked more by African Americans... but they are also smoked more (according to your own numbers) by more than a third of the smoking population overall.  I see no reason to believe this was targetted purly to negatively affect African Americans.

    Senator Inhofe? If you're still wondering? He's on my side.

    by TooFolkGR on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:44:49 AM PDT

    •  The effects is still the same. Intentions matter (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vacationland

      little when you know what the effects are.

      And as the diary states - children choose menthols.

      Teabaggers = Tonsil Sticks - tasteless, pale, brittle, only good for depressing and making you gag

      by JerichoJ8 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:48:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They make menthol cough drops. Why? to (0+ / 0-)

      soothe the throat. The mechanism is even more nefarious.

      Do they make clove pudding?  They banned those.

      Teabaggers = Tonsil Sticks - tasteless, pale, brittle, only good for depressing and making you gag

      by JerichoJ8 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:52:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Don't Know (0+ / 0-)

        They make Clove chewing gum.

        Anyway I'm just taking up your case, don't change the subject.  Menthol is not a flavor typically marketed to children.

        Senator Inhofe? If you're still wondering? He's on my side.

        by TooFolkGR on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:55:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  neither is clove. (0+ / 0-)

          Teabaggers = Tonsil Sticks - tasteless, pale, brittle, only good for depressing and making you gag

          by JerichoJ8 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:57:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's a Good Point (0+ / 0-)

            And would actually be a better legitimate diary topic than this one.

            Senator Inhofe? If you're still wondering? He's on my side.

            by TooFolkGR on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:58:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Clearly you don't understand (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TooFolkGR

            children's attraction to apple and pumpkin pie.  Clove cigarettes have been around since I was a teenager in the 1960s -- they were considered bohemian then.

            •  but they banned clove and not menthol. (0+ / 0-)

              Menthols are proven to be smoked by youth, so there is an attraction. Clove..not so much.

              Teabaggers = Tonsil Sticks - tasteless, pale, brittle, only good for depressing and making you gag

              by JerichoJ8 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:01:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There's a Difference Between (0+ / 0-)

                The fact that they smoke them and them being an intentional marketing effort to get children to smoke.

                Senator Inhofe? If you're still wondering? He's on my side.

                by TooFolkGR on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:03:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Children smoke menthols. they don't smoke cloves. (0+ / 0-)

                  Cloves were banned. Menthols weren't.

                  Teabaggers = Tonsil Sticks - tasteless, pale, brittle, only good for depressing and making you gag

                  by JerichoJ8 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:08:19 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I Think It's Pretty Obvious At This Point (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Jay Elias

                    That you are going for obfuscation.  You might as well say, "Well a majority of children smoke non-menthol cigarettes.  If they were serious about making children quit smoking they would have banned non-menthols."

                    Senator Inhofe? If you're still wondering? He's on my side.

                    by TooFolkGR on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:10:32 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  How many smoking non-menthols started (0+ / 0-)

                      with menthols?

                      Teabaggers = Tonsil Sticks - tasteless, pale, brittle, only good for depressing and making you gag

                      by JerichoJ8 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:11:44 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I like how you aregue for tobacco's interest. (0+ / 0-)

                      By the way  80% of black kids choose menthols.

                      Teabaggers = Tonsil Sticks - tasteless, pale, brittle, only good for depressing and making you gag

                      by JerichoJ8 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:12:56 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I Want Everybody to Quit Smoking (0+ / 0-)

                        It's almost killed three of my Uncles and my parents.

                        That doesn't mean I think the most recent tobacco legislation is exactly like intentionally infecting African American servicemen with Syphillis.

                        Senator Inhofe? If you're still wondering? He's on my side.

                        by TooFolkGR on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:17:44 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I think the study has the same effect. It's (0+ / 0-)

                          18 more months while more black children get addicted.

                          Teabaggers = Tonsil Sticks - tasteless, pale, brittle, only good for depressing and making you gag

                          by JerichoJ8 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:21:27 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Do You Think That if They Did (0+ / 0-)

                            Ban menthol, people who are currently smoking them would choose to just quit smoking instead of switching to non-menthol?  Do you think the number of young people who start would decrease?

                            Senator Inhofe? If you're still wondering? He's on my side.

                            by TooFolkGR on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:22:25 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I think it's entirely possible the number (0+ / 0-)

                            starting would decrease.

                            I think the same rationale for banning the other flavors holds for menthol.

                            Teabaggers = Tonsil Sticks - tasteless, pale, brittle, only good for depressing and making you gag

                            by JerichoJ8 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:28:02 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Right But That WASN'T The Rationale (0+ / 0-)

                            for banning the other flavors.

                            The other flavors were banned (though I agree with you 100% I don't get 'clove') because they were obvious attempts to market direction to teens.  Menthol cigarettes have been around since the 20s and they aren't given cute names that sound like candy & soft drinks.  

                            Like I said in another comment.  There's a difference between the fact that a large percentage of kids DO smoke menthols and menthols being a simplistic attempt to market to children.

                            Senator Inhofe? If you're still wondering? He's on my side.

                            by TooFolkGR on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:29:33 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No -they were just sold by a cartoon camel. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TooFolkGR

                            Teabaggers = Tonsil Sticks - tasteless, pale, brittle, only good for depressing and making you gag

                            by JerichoJ8 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:33:13 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's A Great Example (0+ / 0-)

                            RJR dropped Joe Camel because he was a cartoon character advertising cigarettes to children.  The reality is, more young people smoke Marlboro cigarettes than camel cigarettes, but they didn't go after the Marlboro man.  That's the difference between "What the kids are buying," and "What the companies are trying to sell them."

                            Senator Inhofe? If you're still wondering? He's on my side.

                            by TooFolkGR on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:35:52 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're right that is a great example - he was (0+ / 0-)

                            selling menthols specifically

                            unless you forgot the Menthol Joe pushback?

                            Teabaggers = Tonsil Sticks - tasteless, pale, brittle, only good for depressing and making you gag

                            by JerichoJ8 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:37:31 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  He Was The Mascot (0+ / 0-)

                            For all Camel cigarettes for the better part of 20 years.  The pushback happened when some study found more kids could recognize Joe Camel than Mickey Mouse.  

                            I vaguely remember a Camel menthol campaign... but it was not the cause of the outrage that caused RJR to retire him.  There were some internal memos or something from RJR that showed how effective Joe Camel was at reaching teenagers.

                            Senator Inhofe? If you're still wondering? He's on my side.

                            by TooFolkGR on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:41:05 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  google "menthol joe" and see what comes up (0+ / 0-)

                            Teabaggers = Tonsil Sticks - tasteless, pale, brittle, only good for depressing and making you gag

                            by JerichoJ8 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:43:33 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's a Very Interesting Read (0+ / 0-)

                            Though all of that happened in 1997 when he was in his last throes.  The lawsuit that RJR settled when they retired him was filed in 1994.

                            Senator Inhofe? If you're still wondering? He's on my side.

                            by TooFolkGR on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:46:18 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Menthol is a perfect fit for teenagers. they're (0+ / 0-)

                            concerned about things like their breath. Mint flavored cigarettes.

                            Teabaggers = Tonsil Sticks - tasteless, pale, brittle, only good for depressing and making you gag

                            by JerichoJ8 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:00:57 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  Menthol is used in candy and gum. Menthol (0+ / 0-)

      is in toothpaste and mouthwash.

      Mint is especially attractive to teens who worry over such things.

      Teabaggers = Tonsil Sticks - tasteless, pale, brittle, only good for depressing and making you gag

      by JerichoJ8 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 10:55:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Incredible (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike S, Jay Elias, Vacationland

    that you would compare the Tuskegee experiments with a study on menthol in cigarettes.  The legislation didn't go far enough because Congress is bought off by the tobacco industry -- but, are you saying that the law should not have been signed by the President because it didn't include menthol?  Do you know how epidemiological studies are conducted?  Folks who already smoking menthol cigarettes are the target group.  The government isn't asking non-smokers or non-menthol smokers to participate.  The reason for the study is published -- unlike the infection of African Americans without their knowledge.

    Surpised you didn't blame this on Gillibrand.

    •  they were already infected. the comparison comes (0+ / 0-)

      from the fruitlessness of the study wherein the population affected is blacks.

      It's clear why menthols are bad. They don't need a study.

      They didn't need it for cloves.

      Teabaggers = Tonsil Sticks - tasteless, pale, brittle, only good for depressing and making you gag

      by JerichoJ8 on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:59:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, not banning products... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike S, michael1104, Jyrinx

    ...is exactly like secretly infecting people with fatal diseases.  Exactly the same.

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 09:59:50 AM PDT

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