Encourage Smokers to Shift to Reduced-harm Products
Sir, Over the past decade, new reduced-risk nicotine products such as electronic cigarettes have appeared. Millions of smokers have used them to replace regular cigarettes, reducing their risk of premature death. However, this trend is being stifled by those who fear that new products are as bad as cigarettes.
I understand this fear. For decades I led tobacco control efforts in my native South Africa and globally at the World Health Organisation (WHO). In 1998, I invited tobacco companies to present progress on reduced-risk nicotine products; it was unimpressive. But todays portfolio of products has real potential to remove the harmful components of tobacco (tar) while providing the full smoking experience.
Almost 500,000 Americans die from smoking every year. We need to act faster to adopt regulations accelerating the transition away from cigarettes and for the first time, we have safe and effective products to help. Ecigarettes have to be part of the solution.
Chief Health Officer,
The Vitality Group,
New York, NY, US
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