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In our region , there seems to be a pattern of Governments acting on nonfactual or unproven information on harm reduction products when it comes to policy . Restricting smokers from accessing possibly life-saving information on products that would improve their health or save their lives is totally unjust .

The smoker has a right to access information on safer alternatives.They have a right to be informed of significant harm reduction options . How else will we see these millions of deaths begin to reduce if the smoker keeps getting ignored? Unfortunately we keep hearing of 7 millions deaths every year from tobacco related diseases so often that the shock value is gone. Sometimes listening to tobacco control advocates (not that I have anything against them ) makes me wonder whose side they’re on? When it comes to these issues money is a huge factor !

Public health policy needs to be assessed for effects on human rights as well as public health. Avoiding, or objecting to, the fair presentation of information on effective harm reduction products to smokers to allow them to make an informed choice to reduce health risk can represent a violation of a human right — the right to information.

Governments should conduct independent research on harm reduction products on behalf of the general public. I really must fault the World health Organization for fear-mongering when it comes to harm reduction. That has really been quite disappointing. A failure to embrace alternatives to smoking have the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on a path to failure. In most African countries there are no cessation programs offered by Governments.The Royal College of Physicians concluded that vaping is “at least 95 percent safer” than smoking, that vape devices should be widely available and that doctors should encourage smokers to use them instead of smoking.

I believe if Governments look at these products critically and conduct independent research without having to rely on W.H.O ,big pharma or big tobacco for that matter , disruptive technology can bring an end to tobacco related deaths !

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