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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Take Action for World Week for Animals in Laboratories

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this hard to believe, but the U.S. government continues to sink millions of dollars each year into funding cruel and outdated experiments on animals to test the effects of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) to call attention to this outrage and speak out in opposition.

Click here to find events in your area!

Imagine how powerful we could be if everyone reading this would just take a few minutes to engage in even one action for animals in labs.

IDA's Up in Smoke campaign highlights the futility and inhumanity of nicotine experiments on newborn and pregnant animals. These are some examples:

- Since 1992, Elliot Spindel at Oregon Health and Science University 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 they are 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 cost of all nicotine research on animals, 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.

Please call and/or email the following individuals today to politely urge the NIH to stop funding nicotine experiments on animals and instead redirect funds towards prevention, education and smoking cessation programs. Then follow up with a letter, fax and/or personal email:

Elias Zerhouni, M.D.
Director, National Institutes of Health
Building 1, Shannon Bldg RM 126
1 Center Drive, MSC 0148
Bethesda, MD 20892-0148
Tel: (301) 496-2433
Fax: (301) 402-2700

Norka Ruiz Bravo, Ph.D.
Deputy Director: Office of Extramural Research
1 Center Drive, MSC 0152 (Room 144)
Bethesda, MD 20892-0152
Tel: (301) 496-1096
Fax: (301) 402-3469

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