Tobacco harm reduction matters – The Lancet


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tobacco-harm-reduction-matters-–-the-lancet

A recent Lancet Editorial

1

The Lancet

Tobacco control: far from the finish line.

about the slow pace of tobacco control around the world singled out the UK as a leader in reducing the number of smokers. It has accomplished this feat, the Editorial stated, through measures such as increased tobacco taxes, comprehensive smoke-free laws in public spaces, and health warnings on product packages.

Yet, there was no mention of alternative nicotine delivery devices, such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, even though strong evidence shows that smokers who used e-cigarettes in combination with in-person counselling were twice as likely to quit as those who used other nicotine replacement products.

2

  • Hajek P
  • Phillips-Waller A
  • Przulj D
  • et al.

A randomized trial of e-cigarettes versus nicotine-replacement therapy.

And this, despite a series of seven reports on vaping published by Public Health England that noted such devices might play a “crucial role in reducing the enormous health burden caused by cigarette smoking”.

3

Public Health England

Vaping in England. 2021 evidence update summary.

Indeed, such findings have been welcomed by Action on Smoking and Health,

4

Action on Smoking and Health

MHRA enhanced guidance on medical licensing for e-cigs welcomed by health leaders, clinicians and tobacco experts.

the Royal College of Physicians,

5

Royal College of Physicians

Smoking and health 2021: a coming of age for tobacco control?.

and the National Health Service,

6

National Health Service

Using e-cigarettes to stop smoking.

the latter of which, as part of an effort to make the UK smoke-free by 2030, is currently considering adding e-cigarettes to its prescriptions to combat smoking.

7

  • Gregory A

Regulator paves way for NHS e-cigarette prescriptions in England.

The Lancet should praise the UK for showing how smoking can become obsolete through approaches that include tobacco harm reduction.

I am a former executive director in the World Health Organization’s department of non-communicable diseases, and I had a major role in the development of its international Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. From September, 2017 to October, 2021, I was President and CEO of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, a non-profit entity funded by Philip Morris International, with a mandate to support scientific research and development in the battle against smoking.

References

  1. 1.
    • The Lancet

    Tobacco control: far from the finish line.

    Lancet. 2021; 3981939

  2. 2.
    • Hajek P
    • Phillips-Waller A
    • Przulj D
    • et al.

    A randomized trial of e-cigarettes versus nicotine-replacement therapy.

    N Engl J Med. 2019; 380: 629-637

  3. 3.
    • Public Health England

    Vaping in England. 2021 evidence update summary.

  4. 4.
    • Action on Smoking and Health

    MHRA enhanced guidance on medical licensing for e-cigs welcomed by health leaders, clinicians and tobacco experts.

  5. 5.
    • Royal College of Physicians

    Smoking and health 2021: a coming of age for tobacco control?.

  6. 6.
    • National Health Service

    Using e-cigarettes to stop smoking.

  7. 7.
    • Gregory A

    Regulator paves way for NHS e-cigarette prescriptions in England.

Article Info

Publication History

Identification

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00834-0

Copyright

© 2022 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

ScienceDirect

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Linked Articles

  • Tobacco control: far from the finish line
    • Tobacco control is working—slowly. The number of people smoking worldwide has declined and tobacco-attributable deaths are falling. This progress is evident in WHO’s fourth report on international tobacco trends, released on Nov 16, which estimates 1·30 billion tobacco users globally in 2020, compared with 1·32 billion in 2015. 60 countries are now on track—versus 32 countries 2 years ago—to achieve the voluntary global target of a 30% reduction in tobacco use between 2010 and 2025. Such progress is welcome.

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