Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Urge NIH to end cruel Animal Nicotine Experiments

Take Action to push for change during WWAIL
Many people find this hard to believe, but the U.S. government continues to sink millions of dollars each year into funding cruel and outdated experiments on animals to test the effects of nicotine and tobacco. Please join IDA during this week's observance of World Week for Animals in Laboratories (WWAIL) (www.wwail.org) to call attention to this outrage and speak out in opposition. IDA's Up in Smoke (www.upinsmokecampaign.org) campaign highlights the futility and inhumanity of nicotine experimentson newborn and pregnant animals. These are some examples: - Since 1992, Elliot Spindel at Oregon Health and ScienceUniversity delivers steady doses of nicotine to pregnant monkeys through pumps implanted into their backs. The babies are cut out of their mothers' wombs in order to dissect their lungs.
- At Texas A&M University, Ursula Winzer-Serhan forces baby rats to consume nicotine mixed with baby formula at the equivalent of three packs of cigarettes a day. After about a week of being fed nicotine, the babies' heads are cut off and their brains are dissected. - Researcher Kent Pinkerton at University of California, Davis,subjects pregnant rhesus monkeys to smoking chambers where theyare 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. Over the past five years, the National Institutes of Health(NIH) has given at least $16.5 million to this category of research. This appalling figure does not reflect the total costof all nicotine research on animals, but only that which focuses on nicotine's effect on fetal and newborn development. Animal researchers staunchly defend these experiments as necessary for improving maternal and newborn health. But answers don't come from animal studies. 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.

What You Can Do: Please call the following individuals between Tuesday, April 22nd and Thursday, April 24th to politely urge the NIH to stop funding nicotine experiments on animals and instead redirect funds towards prevention, education and smoking cessation programs.

Elias M. Zerhouni, MD, Director National Institutes of Health Tel: (301) 496-2433 Norka Ruiz Bravo, Ph.D. Director NIH Office of Extramural Research Tel: (301) 496-1096
Then Take Action (http://ga0.org/campaign/nihwwail/wg75d3xf1mek8k3?) to follow up with anemail to these individuals. To have the most impact, customize the sample letter in this alert to reflect your viewpoint.

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