Be Creative, Not Catastrophic.

Britain takes the lead: the exchange stops

Last month, the British government announced that it would distribute e-cigarette(heat not burn heatsticks supplier) starter packs to 1 million smokers to encourage them to "quit," reaffirming its world-leading approach to public health. The project, the first of its kind in the world, is expected to cost £45m and will be rolled out across the country over the next two years.

Health Minister Neil O 'Brien said the government's policy, which aims to reduce smoking rates to below 5% by 2030, would focus on "helping people quit" rather than imposing a ban. This includes not raising the minimum age for the sale of cigarettes from 18 to one year each year, as recommended in a review led by Javed Khan last year, "until no one in this country can buy tobacco products". Interestingly, one of the key recommendations in Khan's report is support for e-cigarettes(heated tabak manufacturer).

The UK is one of the countries that have successfully implemented actions and policies to reduce tobacco harm. In 2015, Public Health England (PHE) reported the results of an independent expert review that showed e-cigarettes(heted herbal heatsticks) were around 95% less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes. Public health authorities have actively encouraged e-cigarettes as a less harmful alternative to help smokers quit. The number of smokers in the UK fell to a record low of 13.3% in 2021, the lowest level since the annual Population Survey began recording smoking rates in 2011. The number of current smokers using e-cigarettes is the largest, accounting for 25.3%, and smokers account for 15%.


Swedish experience: e-cigarettes, HNB and snuff

Sweden is another good example of successful implementation of THR. While Sweden does adopt tobacco control measures, such as banning smoking in some places, it also accepts products like e-cigarettes, heated tobacco, nicotine packs, and especially snus, as less harmful alternatives to combustible cigarettes. Instead of adopting a "quit or die" strategy, Sweden combined tobacco control and THR strategies to reduce the country's smoking rate from 15% of the population to 5.6% in 15 years, putting it on track to achieve smoke-free status (less than 5% smoking) in a matter of months, 17 years ahead of the EU's 2040 target.

Sweden also has the lowest proportion of tobacco-related diseases in the EU, with cancer rates 41% lower than other European countries. A report commissioned by Health Diplomats, an international organization that works to improve access to health services, encourage innovation and minimize the negative effects of alcohol, food, nicotine and drugs through the use of harm reduction approaches, highlights that Sweden's approach has benefited from tobacco control measures that have made combustible cigarettes less attractive. While promoting the use of less harmful alternatives that are accessible and affordable. And it is accepted by the public.

In the EU's three most populous countries, Germany, France and Italy, smoking rates are 23.8%, 25.5% and 24.2%, respectively, despite EU-wide tobacco control measures and concerted public health anti-smoking efforts. The current average smoking rate in the European Union is 23%, almost five times that of Sweden.

Other countries where smoking rates fell after consumers were given less harmful alternatives included Japan, where heat-not-burn products entered the market in 2014 and smoking rates dropped by 10 percent between 2016 and 2019. Even New Zealand, the world's first country to implement a generational ban on smoking, has suggested e-cigarettes as an alternative for those who want to quit, with the country's smoking rate falling to 8%, its lowest ever level, and the number of daily vaping adults rising to 8.3% by 2022.

It is important to note that the key to success in this regard is not to ban all tobacco products completely, but to accept less harmful tobacco products. Or, as James Murphy, head of research and science at British American Tobacco (BAT), described it at a recent conference, THR is "zero burn, not zero nicotine use."