IDA: Tell the NIH to Stop Testing Nicotine on Animals
Researchers in the United States, with the help of millions of taxpayer dollars and the support of the federal government and National Institutes of Health (NIH), are still conducting cruel nicotine experiments on helpless animals--pregnant and newborn monkeys as well as rats and mice--even though the harmful effects of smoking are already well-known. Go to the In Defense of Animals (IDA) "Take Action" page to e-mail the director and deputy director of NIH and ask them to "end the decades-long policy of funding nicotine experiments on animals and instead redirect funds towards prevention, education and smoking cessation programs."
More Info, Including Details on the Specific Experiments, Institutions, and Other Ways You Can Help
From In Defense of Animals (IDA):
Decades of clinical studies in humans have unequivocally documented the harmful effects of nicotine on adults and children. So much, in fact, is known about the ill effects of smoking from studying these human victims that Big Tobacco's best attorneys couldn't talk their way out of the landmark $209 billion Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) of 1998 between 46 states and the U.S. tobacco industry.
So why are the federal government and National Institutes of Health (NIH) still funneling millions of taxpayer dollars into experiments in which scientists force animals to consume nicotine?
In just the last six years, $16.5 million of NIH funds has paid for nicotine experiments on pregnant and newborn animals. And as IDA reminds us, "this appalling figure does not reflect the total cost of all nicotine research on animals, which numbers far higher, but only that which focuses on nicotine’s effect on fetal and newborn development." Nor does it reflect the amount of money given to nicotine testing on animals prior to 2002.
IDA reports the following current experiments:
Oregon Health and Science University
A researcher is conducting "experiments on pregnant monkeys who have nicotine pumps surgically implanted in their bodies. Steady doses of nicotine are delivered to these mothers, and their babies are cut out of their wombs at various stages of development in order to dissect their lungs."
University of California-Davis
This researcher "subjects pregnant monkeys to cigarette smoke for six hours each day, five days a week. After birth, when the infants are ten weeks old, they are killed by lethal injection and their lungs are dissected for analysis."
University of California-Irvine
The researcher "subjects pregnant rats to intravenous injections of nicotine equivalent to two cigarettes, every 14 minutes, 16 hours a day, amounting to 137 cigarettes a day. That’s more than 6 packs a day."
The researcher "has given painful shocks to the feet of mice, which is followed by a nicotine injection in the abdomen. This is followed by more shocks, increasing in intensity, which only end when the mice run and cry out in pain."
We already know the dangers of smoking. Do we really need to torture innocent animals to further confirm the dangers?
IDA is committed to bringing these experiments to light so that our legislators and policy makers can no longer avoid confronting this hideous waste of precious research dollars. Decades of nicotine research has tortured and killed countless animals, yielding little to nothing that is of benefit to humans. Meanwhile, public health tobacco prevention programs endure cut backs and go under funded.
Imagine how many more adults and children could be helped nationwide if the millions of dollars that go to fund cruel nicotine experiments on animals would instead be used to provide education and support for people who smoke. This is where the NIH needs to direct its resources; not into sustaining cruel and outdated experiments on animals.
Take Further Action
Some of you can do more than send a message to the NIH if you wish:
"Contact IDA if you live near, or are an alumni of, any of the universities currently conducting nicotine research on animals, and would like to protest these experiments. Visit our website or contact Barbara Stagno (Barbara@idausa.org) if you need more information."