By G9ija

World leaders and global health organisations have been called upon to intensify campaign on tobacco harm reduction to save the lives of over 1.1 billion smokers worldwide.

Experts made this call at an international webinar on Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction, where they noted that smokers around the world deserve better than they are currently getting.

Consumer well being, according to them, should be at the centre of international planning and policy.

Policy makers engaged in the current European Commission revision of Tobacco Products Directive and those that would attend next year’s WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) Conference we’re told to consider the evidence for tobacco harm reduction.

The experts also want policy makers to listen to consumers, and deliver policies that genuinely focus on reducing the global toll of smoking-related disease and deaths as quickly as possible.

WHO FCTC is the first treaty negotiated under the auspices of the World Health Organization and it is an evidence-based treaty that reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Editor of Burning Issues, Harry Shapiro, argued that if integrated into tobacco control, harm reduction could be a game-changer in the battle against non-communicable disease.

According to him, “our data shows that, worldwide, millions of people are choosing to improve their own health by switching from combustible tobacco.”
“But this needs to be scaled up, fast. Tobacco harm reduction should become a genuine consumer-led public health success.”

On his part, Gerry Stimson noted that governments should hasten the switch from smoking instead of placing obstacles in the ways of those who wish to use safer nicotine products.