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Decision to regularize HTPs divides opinions on tobacco control in Pakistan

Decision to regularize HTPs divides opinions on tobacco control in PakistanISLAMABAD: The government's decision to regularize the alternative innovative tobacco products has generated a debate on how it would affect the tobacco control initiatives in Pakistan.

The federal cabinet’s committee on disposal of legislative cases in its meeting on 1 December 2022 decided to regularize the heated tobacco products. The government plans to amend the law on pictorial health warning to regularize the use of heated tobacco products.

“We believe it’s a step in right direction. Pakistan needs to sensibly regularize the alternative innovative tobacco products. It would be the first step towards ending combustible smoking in Pakistan,” says Arshad Ali Syed, who leads the Alternative Research Initiative (ARI). Since 2018 ARI has been calling for making the tobacco harm reduction part of the national policy on tobacco control in Pakistan.

Almost two decades on after ratifying the FCTC in 2005, Pakistan is facing an uphill task in controlling the use of tobacco. Today the country has 31 million tobacco users. Tobacco is consumed in 45.5% of the households, more in poor (48.8%) than in rich (37.9%) households. The majority of these users are smokers. With little or no smoking cessation services available, smokers are on their own in their quit attempts. Less than 3% smokers successfully quit smoking in a year in Pakistan.

However, not everybody is happy with the reported government decision of regulating the heated tobacco products.

The organizations working on tobacco control have been shocked by the government decision. They believe that Pakistan being a signatory of the FCTC would be violating the international conventions on tobacco control if it goes ahead with the proposed regularization of the heated tobacco products.

Since 2017 Pakistan has witnessed a steady increase in the use of tobacco harm reduction products such as electronic cigarettes and nicotine patches. The use of e-cigarettes is limited to major cities such as Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Quetta, etc. Legally imported, the use of e-cigarettes and nicotine patches is marked by absence of regulatory framework.

“If these products are regulated in proportion to the risk they pose to human health, they can be useful in helping adult smokers to switch or quit combustible cigarettes,” opines Syed.

The idea of tobacco harm reduction works because almost all of the disease risk attributable to smoking arises from the smoke: the particles of tar and toxic gases that are inhaled from burning tobacco. Nicotine creates dependence, which keeps people smoking. The smoke contains thousands of toxic agents, many of which are formed in reactions during combustion. If smokers can find satisfactory alternatives to cigarettes that do not involve combustion but do provide nicotine, they would avoid almost all of the disease risk.

In August 2015 Public Health England published an independent evidence review which concluded that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than tobacco and have the potential to help smokers quit smoking. One of the key findings of the review was that “e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than smoking”.

In a number of countries across the globe, the alternative and less harmful tobacco products are being regularized under various laws and policies. The countries which regulate the use of alternative tobacco products include Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, England, Estonia, Fiji, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Luxemburg, Maldives, Malta, Moldova, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Senegal, Seychelles, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United States, and Wales. This shows most of the world is moving towards regulating the use of alternative tobacco products.

Overall, the process of regulating the alternative and innovative tobacco products is still evolving.

It is important to look at the case of Japan. Almost 72% of smokers switched to IQOS (I quit ordinary smoking) products, achieving 7 out of 10 conversion rate among adult smokers.

"The demands for banning these products are a kneejerk reaction," according to Syed. "Scientific evidence shows that tobacco harm reduction can lead us to a smoke-free future."

According to the report on the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction 2022: The Right Side of the History, "A range of safer nicotine products have established both an evidence base for reduced harm in comparison to smoking cigarettes and consumer popularity. But divisions within both the public health and political worlds are blocking progress."

The report maintains that the prohibition of safer nicotine products, while deadly combustibles remain on sale, is illogical. “It will ultimately fail, bringing with it the same unintended consequences of alcohol prohibition and the war on drugs.

"Effective harm reduction interventions, at minimal cost to governments and health agencies, can end smoking within a generation. The alternative is a continuation of approaches that will continue to fail those most in need and the price will be counted in the millions of lives that could have otherwise been saved.

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Call for research-based interventions for regulating emerging tobacco products
ISLAMABAD: Alternative Research Initiative (ARI) has called upon the government to take a research-based approach to sensibly regulate the tobacco harm reduction products in Pakistan, as any knee reaction would lead to more damage to the cause of tobacco use.



اے آر آئی نے 'پاکستان میں تمباکونوشی کا خاتمہ ممکن ہے' کے عنوان سے ایک پوسٹر تیار کیا ہے۔ یہ پوسٹر پاکستان میں تمباکونوشوں کی تعداد، تمباکونوشی کے مالی و جانی نقصانات، تمباکونوشی کے خاتمے کے جدید تصور اور ملک سے تمباکونوشی کا خاتمہ کرنے کےلئے چار نکات پر مبنی لائحہ عمل جاننے کے بارے میں رہنمائی فراہم کرتا ہے۔-

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Assessing the Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices of Cigarette Smokers and Use of Alternative Nicotine Delivery Systems in Pakistan: A Cross-Sectional Study

Assessing the Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices of Cigarette Smokers and Use of Alternative Nicotine Delivery Systems in Pakistan: A Cross-Sectional Study
The component of smoking cessation is almost missing in Pakistan's existing tobacco control efforts and policies. There is a need to establish smoking cessation clinics in hospitals and create buy-in through mass awareness. This assistance should be backed with public advocacy on the negative effects of combustible smoking.

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    In criticising Britain's "outlier" approach to vaping, Ben Spencer and Tom Calver cite the anti-vaping orthodoxies favoured by the World Heart Federation and others, but the evidence points the other way ("Vape nation: how did Britain end up so hooked on e-cigarettes?", News, last week).

  • Bloomberg, World Health Organisation and the Vaping Misinfodemic

    The WHO and Bloomberg have both made clear their steadfast opposition to safer nicotine alternatives despite growing evidence of lower harm and efficacy for smoking cessation.

  • 'There is something for everybody': readers on switching from cigarettes to vaping

    In an attempt to reduce the smoking rates in England, the NHS is considering making e-cigarettes available on prescription to help tobacco smokers quit and switch to vaping.

  • Is the vision of a non-combustible tobacco industry within reach?

    Leading tobacco companies are moving away from cigarettes toward safer, non-combustible products. But ironically, anti-smoking crusaders continue to block efforts to provide consumers with safer alternatives, argues UK-based consumer advocate Martin Cullip of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

  • Tall tales and toxic tweets about e-cigarettes are stopping smokers quitting

    Quitting smoking can be difficult, and it seems social media can make the process even tougher. Because even when we sense the health information we read online might not be true, we can still be guided by it.

  • What's wrong with FCTC COP?

    Here is a brief list of what we think needs to change. What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Visit the links at the end to explore these issues in more detail. See our Glossary for short explanations of the acronyms.

  • Electronic cigarettes are the single most effective quitting aid

    Vaping nicotine is more effective than all the available stop-smoking medicines, varenicline, nicotine replacement therapy and bupropion, according to a comprehensive analysis funded by the prestigious UK National Institute for Health Research.

  • Patent Landscape Report (September 2021)

    This report was produced with the help of a grant from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, Inc. The contents, selection and presentation of facts, as well as any opinions expressed herein, are the sole responsibility of the authors and under no circumstances shall be regarded as reflecting the positions of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, Inc.

  • 'Vuse Authorization a Positive for Harm Reduction'

    The evidence is in. For the first time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the marketing of an e-cigarette in the country because it determined the help it offers adult smokers outweighs the attraction such products may hold for youth.


    We are excited to be making plans for the UK E-Cigarette Summit which will take place virtually on 7-8 December 2021 and hope that the Virtual Summit will provide a welcoming focal point to grapple with the challenging questions posed by e-cigarettes and new novel nicotine products.

  • Nicotine regulation in Europe: 'It feels like we're going backwards'

    Despite ample evidence that snus and new nicotine products can save lives by helping people quit smoking, harm reduction advocates and industry experts fear that European policymakers are less informed about nicotine regulation today than they were a decade ago.

  • The Disposable Vapes Debate - Vaping Industry Insiders Speak

    It might feel like they're new on the vaping scene but the disposable vapes debate has been rumbling since they first appeared a few years ago. Back then it was a handful of vape companies bringing them out, with the USA seemingly the main target.

  • Thai Minister's Support For Vaping 'goes Global'

    "The brave call by a Thai Government Minister for Thailand to overturn its harsh ban on the sale of vape products has received applause and accolades from around the world," says Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).

  • Leading health organisations mislead the public on vaping

    A group of Australia's most respected public health organisations (including Quit, Heart Foundation, Lung Foundation Australia and Public Health Association Australia) recently published a Position Statement on vaping. This document is alarmist and misleading and selectively quotes the evidence. It exaggerates the risks of vaping and uses studies known to be flawed to argue its case.

  • Health Canada Is Poised to Take a Disastrous Wrong Turn on Vaping

    The Canadian government recently consulted on its proposals for regulating-read: banning-flavors used in vaping products. Its supposed justifications include a perceived increase in youth vaping exposing young people to harm, and the notion that vaping is a "gateway" into cigarette smoking.

  • Consumer Voices Will Not Be Silenced

    VANCOUVER, BC, Oct. 12, 2021 /CNW/ - The Consumers' Association of Canada (CAC) is renewing efforts to ensure consumer voices are heard as Health Canada prepares new regulations for flavoured vaping products, through submissions, radio ads and a new testimonial video.

  • Embrace new evidence-based tobacco control to save lives

    Tobacco smoking claims the lives of more than 8,000 Kenyans every year, according to the Tobacco Control Study released by the Ministry of Health this year. Yet, Kenya is lagging behind in embracing the latest scientifically evidenced methods on how to help smokers quit.

  • Smoke and Mirrors: Orwellian Echoes of 1984

    Liquid is smoke. Products that do not contain tobacco are tobacco products. If these statements have a familiar ring, it is because you may remember reading George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four... or at least heard about it. In Orwell's dystopian future, 1984, the totalitarian government of Oceania promotes "Doublespeak" as a means of thought control.

  • CDC Releases 2020 Adult Smoking & Vaping Data

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released data from the 2020 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). The prevalence of current smoking was 12.4%; that's 30.7 million. Twenty-two percent of Americans were former smokers, the same as the year before.

  • Respecting the Agency of Smokers: the Liberalism of Harms Reduction and the Illiberalism of Prohibitionism

    Two years ago, I published my book The Rediscovery of Tobacco, in which I made a case for taking a liberal approach to tobacco regulation with an emphasis on encouraging harm reduction. The timing coincided with a low point for the cause in the United States. A deadly outbreak of lung injuries caused by dangerous additives in mostly illicit cannabis cartridges had been falsely blamed on nicotine vaping. State and local governments responded by banning vapor products, the Food and Drug Administration ordered many flavored products off the market, and police went store-to-store enforcing emergency rules. In one state, people possessing newly illegal e-cigarettes could have been penalized with up to six months in prison.

  • Appel aux medecins a soutenir l'opportunite du vapotage pour la lutte contre le cancer

    Appel aux pouvoirs publics et aux autorites sanitaires: le vapotage est une opportunite qu'il faut integrer dans les plans de lutte contre le cancer, pour mieux combattre le tabagisme, premier facteur de risque.

  • A More Integrated Approach to Harm Reduction

    1) Tobacco harm reduction (THR) is struggling to gain credibility and acceptance among the public health establishment. 2) Those who are skeptical of the harm reduction potential of alternative tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes, worry about youth initiation, the role of big tobacco in research and production and the newness of the products themselves.

  • Consumer-Centric Tobacco Harm Reduction Needed

    Tobacco harm reduction is one of the more effective tobacco control measures, especially when compared to methods such as bans and tax hikes, and is increasingly popular. It is also a measure that the tobacco industry contributes positively to in the form of innovative, reduced-risk next generation products providing safer alternatives to combustible cigarettes.

  • More Vape Manufacturers Challenge PMTA Denials

    At least two more vaping manufacturers have taken the FDA to court over marketing denials of their flavored vaping products since Turning Point Brands became the first to challenge the agency almost two weeks ago. Turning Point Brands has also since asked a federal court to stay enforcement of the FDA's Marketing Denial Order (MDO) until the appeal is decided.

  • Stoptober Is Back

    It's October, which means it's time for the Public Health England (PHE) and NHS Stoptober campaign where smokers are encouraged to quit or switch to vaping. Stoptober is an annual event that PHE claims has helped 2.3 million smokers to quit over the ten years it has been running.

  • INNCO Calls For Impact Studies

    The International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO) calls on local governments to conduct health impact studies on proposed flavour bans as research analysis finds anti-vaping arguments counterproductive to reducing harm caused by smoking.

  • ARI Newsletter September 2021

    Few countries have embraced vaping with as much enthusiasm as the United Kingdom. It currently has three million regular vapers (six per cent of the adult population) and Public Health England's evidence reviews on e-cigarettes are cited around the world. In contrast to much of Europe and North America, public health professionals in Britain broadly regard the emergence of e-cigarettes as a welcome development that has signicantly

  • Assessing the Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices of Cigarette Smokers and Use of Alternative Nicotine Delivery Systems in Pakistan: A Cross-Sectional Study

    The component of smoking cessation is almost missing in Pakistan's existing tobacco control efforts and policies. There is a need to establish smoking cessation clinics in hospitals and create buy-in through mass awareness. This assistance should be backed with public advocacy on the negative effects of combustible smoking. Pakistan also needs to develop durable mechanisms to control illicit trade of cigarettes in order to restrict available options of buying cheap, illicit, or smuggled cigarettes. Tobacco law enforcement on smoking at public and private places should be more stringently pursued. There is a need to create an understanding about HRPs, backed by sensible regulation. Currently, the use of HRPs, mainly e-cigarettes, is unregulated and limited to the upper and middle classes. The unregulated use of HRPs in a regulatory vacuum may create space for abuse of HRPs in the form of fake products.

  • Vaping & the workplace - A conversation with Martin Dockrell of Public Health England

    E-cigarettes continue to be a polarising issue across the public health world, as was evidenced during an exchange between two public health experts at C3's most recent workplace health webinar run in partnership with the Society of Occupational Medicine.

  • UK Vape Ban Threat - URGENT Call To Action From Advocacy Group

    The World Health Organization has upped the anti on a UK vape ban threat and advocates say vapers MUST act now and fight back.

  • NNA Asks UK Vapers to Help Stop FCTC Attacks

    As the member countries of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) prepare to gather virtually in November for the treaty organization's biennial meeting, vaping advocates are fearful the group could recommend restrictive vaping regulations.

  • According to Data from the CDC, Youth Vaping Has Not Led to Smoking

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have updated their Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), their annual survey to gauge health and behaviors of American adults. The CDC has been collecting this data since 1995 and numerous public health groups including Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) rely on the annual survey to determine the number of smokers in a given state.

  • Commission Report: Reignite the Fight Against Smoking

    It is simply unacceptable that global consumption of cigarettes is the same today as it was 30 years ago. The International Commission to Reignite the Fight Against Smoking was established with the belief that efforts to prevent premature deaths from tobacco use require much greater imagination and ambition.

  • Vaping: necessary clinic and functional indicators to assess tobacco harm reduction and related benefits

    Tobacco harm reduction theories and their fundamental principles are questioned worldwide. New indicators specifically designed to establish the harm reduction potential of low risk tobacco products are examined by CoEHAR, with promising results

  • Release: Health System Chaos Looms As Greg Hunt's Vaping Prescription Plan Bombs With GPs

    Only 71 doctors across Australia have signed up to be authourised prescribers of vaping products ahead of the Federal Government's October 1 deadline, setting up a chaotic scenario in GP surgeries around the country in the coming months as more than half a million vapers try to get access to a product that is a normal part of life in countries like the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

  • Bangladesh Government Says It Will Prohibit Vape Sales

    Bangladesh is set to join more than a dozen Asian countries that have banned the sale (and in some cases possession and use) of vaping products. Like most other Asian countries with vaping bans, Bangladesh has made the decision in "partnership" with a Bloomberg Philanthropies-funded tobacco control advisor-in this case the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

  • The US Obsession With Youth Vaping Looks Odd From Across the Atlantic

    Two countries divided by a common language" is a common saying misattributed to George Bernard Shaw. US and UK vocabulary differences are of perennial amusement: elevator, lift; sidewalk, pavement; gas, petrol; soccer, football. Brits say "pants" to mean underwear; Americans say it to mean what we call "trousers."

  • Bureaucrats and politicians seem determined to cripple a lifesaving alternative to smoking

    E-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine without tobacco or combustion, are the most important harm-reducing alternative to smoking ever developed, one that could prevent millions of premature deaths in the United States alone.

  • ARI Newsletter September 2021

    Few countries have embraced vaping with as much enthusiasm as the United Kingdom. It currently has three million regular vapers (six per cent of the adult population) and Public Health England's evidence reviews on e-cigarettes are cited around the world. In contrast to much of Europe and North America, public health professionals in Britain broadly regard the emergence of e-cigarettes as a welcome development that has signicantly reduced the smoking rate since they became popular a decade ago.

  • The real threat from the WHO and what UK consumers can and should do about it

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) is a threat to vapers, not just in other parts of the world, but in the UK too. Consumers have a role to play in protecting reduced risk products that have benefitted us so much and could do for many more smokers in the future

  • Senators Propose $100 Million in Vape Industry User Fees...Again

    New legislation introduced by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators would increase the FDA Center for Tobacco Products' budget, and pay for it by assessing $100 million a year in user fees to U.S. vaping manufacturers.

  • Antivaping Campaign Highlights Mental Health by Pitching 'Depression Sticks'

    Antitobacco organization Truth Initiative recently hawked a new vaping product to stores and ad agencies, but it wasn't actually looking to make any sales.

  • New study reveals common misunderstandings among tobacco and e-cigarette users related to the risk of harm from nicotine

    Those with serious mental health conditions were more likely to overemphasise the risk of harm from nicotine, potentially discouraging the switch from tobacco cigarettes to nicotine-containing products.

  • David Sweanor: Swedish Match deserves as much credit as Volvo for saving lives

    Swedish Match has never gotten the credit it deserves for offering products that help save lives, says tobacco control pioneer David Sweanor. And he's not sure the company's complete exit from combustible tobacco will help.

  • WVA Members Address The WHO

    Members of the World Vapers' Alliance (WVA) have written a joint letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) calling on it to "face reality", pointing out that tobacco harm reduction products save lives. The 31 consumer organisations which represent millions of vapers worldwide are joining forces to demand that the WHO ends its war on vaping and other alternatives to smoking.

  • Quitting Success

    The NHS has released its quarterly report presenting results from the monitoring of the NHS Stop Smoking Services (SSS) in England during the period April 2020 to March 2021. It reveals that the number of self-reported quitters (105,403) was significantly higher than in recent years. The news has been welcomed by trade body the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA).

  • Vaping Works International Best Practices: United Kingdom, New Zealand, France and Canada

    The Property Rights Alliance congratulates Christopher Snowdon (Institute of Economic Affairs, the UK), Louis Houlbrooke (New Zealand Taxpayers' Union, New Zealand), Patrick Coquart (IREF, France), and Prof. Ian Irvine (Concordia University, Canada) on the contributed case studies on vaping from their respective countries to the white paper, "Vaping Works. International Best Practices: United Kingdom, New Zealand, France and Canada." These case studies analyze the policies implemented by governments on electronic cigarettes and combustible tobacco products for smoking cessation efforts in the UK, New Zealand, France and Canada.

  • POINT: e-Cigarette Use for Harm Reduction in Tobacco Use Disorder? Yes

    The case for e-cigarettes for harm reduction is straightforward. Almost all the harm caused by tobacco use arises from inhaling the products of combustion (smoke) of dried cured tobacco leaf. e-Cigarettes use electricity to heat a liquid to form an inhalable nicotine-bearing aerosol. There is no combustion involved; therefore, there are no products of combustion to inhale. This means the main harmful agents in tobacco smoke are either not present at detectable levels or are present at much lower concentrations than in cigarette smoke. A smoker who switches completely to e-cigarette use ("vaping") is therefore exposed to much lower levels of the toxicants that are the main causes of smoking-related disease.

  • Clinical Pharmacology of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS): Implications for Benefits and Risks in the Promotion of the Combusted Tobacco Endgame.

    Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products are novel battery-operated devices that deliver nicotine without combustion of tobacco. Because cigarette smoking is sustained by nicotine addiction and the toxic combustion products are mainly responsible for the harmful effects of smoking, ENDS could be used to promote smoking cessation while exposing users to lower levels of toxicants compared with conventional cigarettes.

  • Newsletter August 2021

    Despite 8 million annual smoking-related deaths, the World Health Organizations (WHO) seems to have decided that it doesn't have to deal with safer nicotine alternatives until 2023.

  • President Derek Yach's Statement on the WHO's Global Tobacco Epidemic Report

    "The WHO's tobacco control approach is fundamentally flawed. In 20 years, they have simply failed to make any meaningful progress to reduce tobacco consumption, with over 1bn tobacco users today and 8m people dying annually from tobacco-related illnesses."

  • Hierarchy of Harm Reduction Disagreement

    Before 2020, I knew very little about tobacco control. My knowledge did not go beyond what most people know - that cigarettes are bad for your health and could kill you. Subsequently, tobacco harm reduction was a foreign concept to me, although it made logical sense. I volunteered in Lesotho with the Peace Corps; the idea of harm reduction was often used when referring to the HIV/AIDS crisis. Although I did not know much about tobacco control, I was aware that harm reduction had been proven to work in other fields of public health.

  • Tobacco Harm Reduction: Time to Change Attitudes

    In a speech I gave to the Global Forum on Nicotine in June, I noted that when it comes to harm reduction, policy lags far behind the science. For years, decades, even, politicians and health authorities who should know better have ignored, derided and undermined such measures, stuck in a past in which the tobacco industry played a big, bad role.

  • ARI Newsletter (Volume 1, Issue 5)

    Back in 1998, the WHO launched World No Tobacco Day (WMTD) to highlight the dangers of combustible smoking, strengthen global efforts to get smokers to quit and provide an international platform for new anti-smoking policies.

  • UK Health Agency Reaffirms the Power of Vaping to Help Smokers Quit

    On June 25, the United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published new draft guidelines encouraging health care professionals to disseminate clear and up-to-date information for smokers who want to use vapes to quit cigarettes.

  • World No Tobacco Day 2021 Shows Tobacco Control at a Crossroads

    Back in 1988, the World Health Organization launched World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) to highlight the dangers of combustible smoking, strengthen global efforts to get smokers to quit and provide an international platform for new anti-smoking policies. The idea was for the organization's member states to present a united front in the fight against tobacco, and their message was stark: quit, or die.

  • ARI Newsletter (Volume 1, Issue 4)

    More than 30 years since the first World No Tobacco Day(WNTD), there are still 8 million annual deaths attributed to tobacco use and more than 1 billion individuals still smoke.

  • Potential deaths averted in USA by replacing cigarettes with e-cigarettes

    Introduction US tobacco control policies to reduce cigarette use have been effective, but their impact has been relatively slow. This study considers a strategy of switching cigarette smokers to e-cigarette use ('vaping') in the USA to accelerate tobacco control progress.

  • On World No Tobacco Day, Foundation for a Smoke-Free World Urges Smokers to Quit or Switch to Harm-Reduction Products

    NEW YORK, May 27, 2021 - More than 30 years since the first World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), there are still 8 million annual deaths attributed to tobacco use and more than 1 billion individuals still smoke. These facts are proof that health policies and actions have not been adequate.

  • Cessation, The Right to Health

    About 1,300 million people still use tobacco. One billion of them smoke cigarettes, and many of these want to stop. Every day a smoker over 35 continues to smoke they lose about 3-6 hours of life, thus for the estimated 500 million current adult smokers 62 million days of life are lost every day.

  • ARI Newsletter (Volume 1, Issue 3)

    In a report released on March 31, 2021, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Vaping has called upon the UK government to make the most of Brexit by challenging the World Health Organization's opposition to vaping at the upcoming Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Conference of Parties (COP).

  • Report Details Failures to Scale Up Tobacco Harm Reduction in Asia

    On April 16, the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR) released its newest report-"Tobacco Harm Reduction: A Burning Issue for Asia"-detailing how countries in the region have largely failed to consider safer nicotine products (SNPs) to combat the smoking-related death toll.

  • ARI Newsletter (Volume 1, Issue 2)

    Imagine the outrage if an international non-governmental organization (NGO) focusing on drug abuse called for naloxone manufacturers to not sell their products in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) on grounds that it would confuse regulators and the public, suggesting instead that they focus on ending opioid abuse using only regulatory and educational approaches? How would NGOs in these countries react if this international NGO went further and called on governments to ban the use of naloxone? Recall that naloxone is about 85-95% effective in preventing death from an opioid overdose.

  • Bringing Everyone to the Tobacco Table

    In his new book, Good Business: The Talk, Fight, Win Way to Change the World, Bill Novelli describes, among other things, opportunities that may arise from working with a cancelled industry. Ultimately, however, Novelli's inconsistency on this stance reveals the power of cancel culture to stifle dialogue and impede clearheaded action.

  • With Excess Menthol Use Affecting Black Americans, U.S. Policy Efforts Continue to Fall Short

    In the United States, menthol cigarettes rose to popularity during the 1950s. At about the same time, manufacturers began focusing their marketing efforts on Black Americans. The effects of these campaigns can be felt today, with Black smokers making up more than one quarter of all menthol users in the United States.

  • Why Bans of Low-Risk Nicotine Alternatives to Smoking in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) Will Do More Harm Than Good

    In 2020, The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), a Bloomberg partner for 'The Initiative to reduce tobacco use', published its fourth position statement on e-cigarettes. In it, The Union called for a blanket ban on all electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and heated tobacco products (HTPs) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

  • Newsletter (Volume 1, Issue 1)

    One of the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 3 is to "strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in all countries, as appropriate." The indicator for measuring the implementation of FCTC is "age-standardized prevalence of current tobacco use among persons aged 15 years and older."

  • New Zealand Proposes Vape Products Should Carry Health Warnings in Maori

    Under the new proposals, nicotine-containing vaping products would be required to carry a warning label pointing out their addiction potential in both English and te reo Maori, similar to the ones found on cigarettes.

  • An open letter from Darryl Tempest - Executive Director of the Canadian Vaping Association

    Beamsville, ON, Feb. 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For the better part of the last decade, advocates have fought for vaping to be recognised as a harm reduction tool for adult smokers. In the time since, science has caught up with the industry's message and vaping has been recognized by all health organizations as far less harmful than smoking. Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence concluding that vaping is less harmful, smokers and society at large are still being sent mixed messages by the government and misleading information by media to support a sensationalistic narrative.

  • FCTC Secretariat relaunches plan for accelerated tobacco control, Part II: A case study

    In Part I, I discussed failures in the implementation of the Global Strategy to Accelerate Tobacco Control 2019-2025 (GS2025). As that post indicates, there are many factors contributing to shortcomings on this front. In the current piece, I focus on one where a country, Thailand, which, in my opinion, is still facing challenges in reducing smoking rates despite putting in place policies as outlined in GS2025.

  • It's Time for America to Reclaim its Role in Global Health Leadership.

    For decades, the US was a leader in global health. It played a key role in establishing the World Health Organization (WHO), steered the eradication of diseases like smallpox, and guided the development of innumerable standards that underpin modern health policy. Then came the Trump Presidency. Over the past four years, and particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the administration repeatedly failed to embrace sound health policy, to disastrous effect. The election of Joe Biden must bring about a reversal of these failures.

  • Perspectives regarding the Report on the Tenth Meeting of the WHO

    Perspectives regarding the Report on the Tenth Meeting of the WHO Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation to be considered at the 148th session of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization.

  • Accelerating change: foundation blog

    It was an era in which we became accustomed to daily death tolls broadcast on TV; work, school, and play shifted to virtual space; and masks served as both a life-saving accessory and confounding controversy. On many fronts, the era was marked by despair, not only from the virus proper, but also from the isolation.

  • FCTC Secretariat relaunches plan for accelerated tobacco control, highlighting WHO's bureaucratic inaction

    In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted the Global Strategy to Accelerate Tobacco Control 2019-2025 (GS2025). Described as "a blueprint for the global tobacco control community," this strategy sought to accelerate implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Two years later, one cannot help but notice the absence of any report on progress toward this goal-an absence that was made all the more glaring when the WHO relaunched GS2025 last month. Intended to coincide with what would have been the Ninth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the FCTC (COP9), this relaunch only highlighted ongoing failures in policy implementation.

  • The Birth of Harm Reduction Informs the World's Need for Safer Nicotine

    Early in 1987 the Conservative government took the radical decision to provide sterile injecting equipment to people who inject in response to the HIV crisis. Only a few months before, it had run an anti-heroin campaign. Now it was giving out free syringes.

  • Tobacco Regulation: Who is Getting It Right?

    I recently addressed the 2020 GTNF conference on the topic of "who is getting tobacco regulation right?". My answer was blunt: at present, very few! If we were, we would not have eight million deaths a year from tobacco use. Nor would we have 1.3 billion people still using tobacco products, most in a toxic combustible or dangerous smokeless form. The goal of a regulator should be primarily to reduce that harm in the fastest possible time. Sadly, this isn't the case today.

  • State ownership of tobacco companies and the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

    The focus of this report is on the contradictions and conflicts experienced by governments that own major stakes in tobacco companies, yet are required to support tobacco control at the same time because they are signatories to the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The broader tobacco control environment is not covered by the report, although the context is important.

  • Focusing on recent publication of Gaiha et al.

    As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a challenge for the scientific community to publish results quickly, and publication often occurs at the price of quality and reproducibility, which in turn undermines the public's trust of science.

  • Government intervention in the market for electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). The known, the unknown and the challenges

    ENDS are considerably less harmful than cigarettes. Imposing the same tax burden on them (per unit of "harm") as on cigarettes leads to poorer health outcomes. Differential tax treatment of ENDS will encourage more cigarette smokers to switch to ENDS and could save millions of lives worldwide.

  • Overcoming barriers to disseminate effective smoking cessation treatments globally

    Major gaps remain in cessation products' availability and resource allocation for cessation services globally. Current licensed products are falling short on delivering and sustaining smoking cessation. Innovation in cessation products and services needs to build on learnings in nicotine pharmacokinetics, behavioural insights from consumer research and tap into 21st century tools such as mobile based apps. National implementation of FCTC's Article 14 needs to follow guidelines that encourage integration into existing health programmes and health-care practitioners' (HCPs) upskilling.

  • Perceptions of nicotine in current and former users of tobacco and tobacco harm reduction products from seven countries

    This study specifically assessed public perceptions of nicotine as opposed to products containing nicotine, which is the focus of previous studies. Apart from showing that consumers often incorrectly perceive nicotine and cigarettes as similar in terms of harmfulness, the authors highlight the need for more accurate and complete reporting by the media to clarify widespread misunderstandings and mitigate public uncertainty.

  • Goodbye Nicky hello Goldie - exploring the opportunities for transitioning tobacco farmers into cannabis production in Malawi

    The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the opportunities for tobacco farmers in Malawi from diversifying to cannabis, and the potential benefits for reducing deforestation by producing a cannabis based alternative fuel. It further argues that there are tensions between the conflicting objectives of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

  • Tobacco smoking in three "left behind" subgroups: indigenous, the rainbow community and people with mental health conditions

    This paper aims to investigate the extent to which three subgroups - people with mental health conditions, people belonging to sexual minority and gender groups and Indigenous peoples - have been "left behind" by countries implementing the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

  • Tobacco harm reduction in the 21st century

    Toxicological testing, population studies, clinical trials and randomized controlled trials demonstrate the potential reductions in exposures for smokers. Many barriers impede the implementation of product substitution in tobacco harm reduction. These products have been subjected to regulatory bans and heavy taxation and are rejected by smokers and society based on misperceptions about nicotine, sensational media headlines and unsubstantiated fears of youth addiction. These barriers will need to be addressed if tobacco harm reduction is to make the maximum impact on the tobacco endemic.

  • An overview of tobacco control interventions in the Global South

    Despite the FCTC detailing the significance of the research, studies are still lacking in the Global South. There are significant research gaps such as longitudinal studies, harm reduction and randomized controlled trials.

  • Gender and Tobacco Control

    For more than thirty years, there have been many calls for the mainstreaming of gender into tobacco control; however, insufficient progress has been made with dire health and economic consequences.

  • Who is really co-opting harm reduction?

    The new generation of tobacco harm reduction products (HRPs) has the potential to save millions of lives and finally end the use of toxic combustible cigarettes.

  • Models of Smoking-Attributable Mortality Must Consider the Effects of Major Intervention

    Smoking-related mortality in 2060 could be cut by about 3.5 million deaths if we: (1) increase access to THR products; and (2) improve treatment, cessation, and diagnostic tools.

  • A Rose By Any Other Name

    Ex-smokers deserve a seat at the table in decisions affecting not only names, but research priorities, regulations, taxes, and bans that affect them.

  • The Need to Make Harm Reduction, Smoking Cessation Part of Tobacco Control Policies in Pakistan

    "Two research studies have highlighted the effective role tobacco harm reduction and cessation strategies can play in achieving the objectives of FCTC and reducing combustible smoking," said Arshad Ali Syed, Project Director of PANTHR. Smoking cessation is completely missing from the tobacco control efforts in Pakistan, he added.

  • Overcoming barriers to disseminate effective smoking cessation treatments globally

    Current available cessation products and services are suboptimal in their effectiveness. Cost and efficacy of current smoking cessation medications on the market is an impediment to availability, accessibility and cessation success in Low-Middle Income Countries (LMICs).

  • Accelerating an end to smoking: a call to action on the eve of the FCTC's COP9

    As we evaluate progress toward the goals of the FCTC and how best to update its text, it is vital that we learn from the challenges of other treaties, as well as shortcomings of the FCTC itself. Future efforts must prioritize the end of adult smoking, with particular emphasis on demographics and regions where progress has been slow.

  • A Policy On Smoking Without Smokers Onboard Is No Good. Here's Why!

    Smokers have never been part of the tobacco control policies in Pakistan. Around 27% smokers in Pakistan at least make one attempt in a year and out of them 2.8% quit smoking successfully.

  • The 2019 EVALI 'Misinfodemic'

    THC and nicotine vaping involve different devices, liquids, supply chains, people, and purposes. They should not be confused. But they were. Our analysis shows that evaluated news coverage focused primarily on nicotine vaping, and on nicotine itself.

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Pakistan is a country with heavy use of tobacco. With more than 24 million...

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KAP Study: This study explores the knowledge, attitude, and practices...

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The Birth of Harm Reduction Informs the World's Need for Safer Nicotine...

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Alternative Research Initiative (ARI) works to provide researched-based solutions...

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