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Letter on Animal Experimentation

People may find this hard to believe, but our government is still spending millions of dollars a year to fund cruel and outdated experiments on animals to test the effects of nicotine and, even though we know that answers won't come from animal studies like the following:

  • At Oregon Health and Science University, pregnant monkeys are given steady doses of nicotine through pumps implanted into their backs, then the babies are cut out of their mothers' wombs and their lungs are dissected.
  • At Texas A&M University, baby rats are forced to consume nicotine mixed with baby formula at the equivalent of three packs of cigarettes a day. After a week of being fed nicotine, the babies' heads are cut off and their brains are dissected.
  • At the University of California, pregnant rhesus monkeys are subjected to smoking chambers and forced to inhale cigarette smoke for six hours each day, five days a week. When the infants are ten weeks old, they are killed by lethal injection and their lungs are dissected for analysis.

In the past five years, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has given more than $16 million to this research, but that figure does NOT reflect the total cost of all nicotine research on animals.

Animal researchers defend these experiments as necessary for improving maternal and newborn health; however, after decades of animal studies, we still have not solved the problem of smoking during pregnancy. Only education, public health outreach, and prevention programs can address the human behaviors that lead to smoking.

The NIH should stop funding nicotine experiments on animals and instead redirect funds towards prevention, education and smoking cessation programs.

Sent in by Shemirah Brachah

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