Chemical Assaults And Redefining Child Abuse


By Catherine J. Frompovich

Recently, the ‘City Fathers’ in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, according to radio news reports, are going after chemically-flavored tobacco products, which are marketed and positioned in convenience stores so as to attract youngsters who are smoking them.  KYW radio reports claimed Philly’s mayor, Jim Kenney [D], successfully launched the “soda tax” and now he’s going after flavored tobacco products, which young kids are using.

The interesting part of the news reports, for me, is those chemically-flavored tobacco products—cigars, in particular—were talked about as being “chemical assaults” upon children.  How interesting! Can we take that concept of assault a legal tad-bit further and call it “child abuse”?

The products, which apparently have been targeted, are little cigars and cigarillos, which often sell for less than a dollar.  Then there are “blunts and wraps,” which come in fruit and candy flavors.

Other tobacco products, which are flavored and can appeal to youngsters, include E-liquids, and E-juice used in vapor products, i.e., E-cigarettes.  Chewing tobacco also is ‘deliciously’ flavored.  Formaldehyde has been found in the aerosols from E-cigarettes.

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According to a 2009 National Youth Risk Behavioral Survey, 13.2% of male high school tobacco users smoked cigars only; 15.3% used smokeless tobacco only; and 19.2% used cigarettes + smokeless + cigars [1].  Furthermore,

Historical data suggest that, over the last century (the 1900s), young people living in the United States started to smoke at progressively younger ages. By 1955–1966, women, especially, were smoking at younger ages (USDHHS 1994). [1, Pp. 190-191]

Regarding cigar use,

Current cigar use differed significantly by gender (p <0.05) and was approximately 1.5 times more common for males as for females students per NYTS –middle school and 2.5 times greater for males as for females according to the other surveys. In the 2010 NSDUH, White youth 13–18 years of age had a significantly higher prevalence of current cigar use (6.6%) than did Blacks (4.6%), Hispanics (9.4%), and Other youth (3.0%) (p <0.05 for all comparisons with White youth). [1, Pg. 203]

According to the 2010 NSDUH, adolescents who used other drugs, such as alcohol, marijuana, and inhalants, had a much higher prevalence of cigar use than did nonusers of those products (Table 3.1.53). [1, Pg. 205]

The Surgeon General’s Report [1] discusses what happens regarding

Neurotransmission and Brain Function in Tobacco Use

Overview of the Effects of Nicotine on the Brain

Upon inhalation of cigarette smoke, nicotine quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the brain (Dani and Heinemann 1996). Activation of nAChRs stimulates the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system (a reward pathway) to produce the primary reinforcing effects of nicotine (Di Chiara 2000). Stimulation of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) by nicotine via high-affinity α4β2 nAChRs (and by all drugs of abuse via specific receptor targets) causes increased firing in terminal dopaminergic fields, such as the nucleus accumbens, amygdala, and the prefrontal cortex (specifically the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex). Activation of dopaminergic VTA neurons is also mediated by excitatory glutamatergic neurons projecting primarily from the prefrontal cortex (Taber et al. 1995), and presynaptic α7 nAChRs located on glutamatergic projections enhance excitatory input (Mansvelder and McGehee 2000). The GABA interneurons in the VTA, which also express nAChRs and GABA-ergic projections from the nucleus accumbens to the VTA (Walaas and Fonnum 1980; Kalivas et al. 1993), mediate inhibitory and control processes of dopamine stimulation. Thus, the overall effect of nicotine in the VTA stems from the interactions of upstream and downstream effects (Mansvelder et al. 2003). Repeated exposure to nicotine in conjunction with environmental cues (Chaudhri et al. 2007) causes lasting changes in dopaminergic function that contribute to maintenance of smoking and the experience of withdrawal symptoms upon its cessation (Miyata and Yanagita 2001; Balfour 2002).

[1, Pg.455]

However, I want to “cherry pick” from the aboveRepeated exposure to nicotine in conjunction with environmental cues (Chaudhri et al. 2007) …” because of what I will bring into this article a little later regarding chemical assault.

The Surgeon General’s Report calls the problem a “tobacco epidemic.”  The Report displays a warning photograph on a cigarette package in Australia [1, Pg. 718]

The main “drug” involved in tobacco is addictive nicotine, plus its ancillary effects, e.g., increased heart rate and blood pressure with rapid and shallow breathing; damage to heart, lungs, and arteries with increased risks of heart attack, stroke, chronic lung damage/disease; affects insulin resistance; predisposition to metabolic syndrome; and nicotine is known to raise blood fat (HDL & LDL) levels.

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Tobacco flavorings

What flavorings can be added to tobacco products to make them taste-pleasing?  They can include fruit (apple, strawberry and mango), spice, herb, alcohol, candy, menthol, vanilla, cocoa, liquorice, sugar and lactic acid.  Some additives even may affect the addictiveness to tobacco products.  [3]

However, there’s the “proprietary” portion of tobacco products—flavors. Leffingwell & Associates provides “Flavor-Base 10 – Tobacco Version” GRAS & EC Flavor Chemicals, which is offered under license as follows;

PRICE: U.S. $6975.00 – This product price is for a non-exclusive license granting rights to use the Flavor-Base 10 -Tobacco version program and product files on one (1) personal computer or work station at a time. A separate license agreement and fee is required for each personal computer or work station on which the product is used. For each additional user at the same location add U.S. $1250.00. Contact us about a Site license or Worldwide license. [2]

Notation ought to be made that

These additions increase the number of flavor chemicals to about 4324. And over 1000 additional organoleptic evaluations have been added. [2]   [CJF emphasis added]

Many of the flavored tobacco products targeted toward children in convenience stores obviously contain synthetic flavoring chemicals, thus prompting the term “chemical assault,” which I think needs to be taken seriously especially when it comes to children, who are more vulnerable in many respects, e.g., physiology/biochemistry and the ability to rationalize consequences when exposed to temptations.

What does nicotine do to the brain?

Nicotine affects the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and its normal relationship to receptors it binds to.  Nicotine causes a release of dopamine, a ‘reward’ or ‘feel good’ brain chemical, which apparently makes a smoker feel good or better after tobacco use.

Now, let’s consider the interactions of nicotine and flavor chemicals in body chemistry.  Are there any studies indicating there are no health harms associated with flavored tobacco products?  Certainly, there are numerous studies regarding plain tobacco products harms.  So, one can see the logic behind the term “chemical assault” regarding enticing and selling flavored tobacco products to children.  What will be done about it in Philadelphia?  Who knows?  But Mayor Kenney most likely will push his agenda to stop the sale of flavored tobacco products to children because of the perceived potential harms.

Remember the statement I cherry-picked earlier: “Repeated exposure to nicotine in conjunction with environmental cues (Chaudhri et al. 2007)…”  [CJF emphasis].  Environmental cues encompass what’s medically known as epigenetics—something in the environment influencing how DNA/RNA act/react differently from its genetic predisposition.

Chemicals in vaccines; aren’t they “chemical assaults” and child abuse?

If chemicals in tobacco products are being equated with “chemical assault” and effectively “child abuse,” then what’s the definitive exception between chemicals in tobacco products and chemicals in vaccines that mayors, health departments, and medical doctors choose to ignore?  Aren’t they environmental cues?

If nicotine and various tobacco flavorings are considered unhealthful for children, then how come Thimerosal (49.6% ethylmercury), aluminum in any of four formulations, formaldehyde/Formalin, polysorbate 80, polyethylene glycol (used in antifreeze), antibiotics, MSG, and other man-made chemicals [4] are not considered as “chemical assaults,” especially since there are no studies indicating the safety or efficacy of all chemical interactions/reactions from up to nine vaccines  injected at one time in to the body of a 2, 4 or 6 month old baby, whose immune system is not fully developed until around 2 or 3 years of age?  Isn’t that chemical child abuse resulting in lifelong chronic diseases, e.g., Autism?

Two CDC studies, which currently have been reported fraudulently as NOT causing Autism when CDC research found vaccines did cause it: the Verstraeten 2000 study [5] and the DeStefano/Thompson 2004 study [6], prove vaccines cause Autism—no ifs, ands or buts!

Vaccinations must be classified as chemical child abuse?  Selling flavored tobacco products to children is relatively nothing compared with injecting horrendous neurotoxins directly into the body and bloodstream of helpless and innocent infants and children.  How about that Mayor Kenney?

When will you go after vaccines as chemical child abuse?


[1] Pg. 155







Flavored Tobacco Products Attract Kids

Flavored Tobacco Products

Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults / A Report of the Surgeon General (2012)

Photo credit: tintoNIAID CC BY, modified

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Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.

Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on

Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on and as a Kindle eBook.

Two of Catherine’s more recent books on are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick(2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)

Catherine’s NEW book: Eat To Beat Disease, Foods Medicinal Qualities ©2016Catherine J Frompovich is now available

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