WHY ARE TOBACCO CONTROL ADVOCATES TURNING A DEAF EAR TO HARM REDUCTION?
Is it not baffling that our counterparts in tobacco control are so opposed to the idea of harm reduction yet the F.C.T.C treaty has clearly included harm reduction in the fight against tobacco? The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control treaty (F.C.T.C) article 1 defines Tobacco Control as:
“(d) “tobacco control” means a range of supply, demand and HARM REDUCTION strategies that aim to improve the health of a population by eliminating or reducing their consumption of tobacco products and exposure to tobacco smoke;”
With human lives at stake I think it’s only right that we dialogue and engage one another. 7 Million lives every year is not a joke unless we are in this for something else and we do not really believe these statistics. We all know that cigarette smokers smoke for nicotine but die from tar. It’s the tar from cigarettes that cause these 7 million deaths a year. There is no good reason why a switch from tobacco products to less harmful nicotine delivery systems should not be encouraged.
Current tobacco control policies as outlined in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (including price and tax increases, and prevention of smoking in public and work places) have typically achieved reductions in smoking prevalence of at best 1% per year in countries where cigarette smoking is common. Given the limitations of tobacco control, radical reform of nicotine and tobacco product regulation is needed.
A wide range of nicotine products, including medicinal nicotine (currently marketed as nicotine-replacement therapy) and low-nitrosamine smokeless tobacco products, such as snus and e-cigarettes, should be developed, regulated rationally in relation to each other, and made available in inverse proportion to their hazards.
Our common goal is an end to cigarette smoking. We should use facts and practical solutions to bring an end to smoking.