European Experts: Transition from Traditional Tobacco to Alternative Products

Industry Insight by 2FIRSTS.ai
Sep.27.2023
European Experts: Transition from Traditional Tobacco to Alternative Products
Experts in Europe emphasize the need to push for alternatives to traditional tobacco and ultimately achieve smoking cessation.

Experts in Europe have recently emphasized in discussions on reducing the harm caused by tobacco that the main goal of current public health efforts is to gradually phase out traditional tobacco and shift towards alternative nicotine-containing products, ultimately achieving complete smoking cessation. They simultaneously warned that governments must proactively monitor and oversee this transformation, or else risk falling behind and being mere bystanders. Without employing all possible means to facilitate this transition, the world will face an increase in diseases and deaths, along with a tremendous burden on public health systems. These insights and research findings were presented at the Tobacco Harm Reduction Summit in Athens, Greece.

 

Giuseppe Biondi Zoccai, Associate Professor of Cardiology at the University of Rome, Sapienza, has stated that e-cigarettes, heated tobacco, nicotine patches, and oral tobacco should all be considered as "transitional" alternatives in order to ultimately "quit" using traditional cigarettes. He emphasizes that the government can either take the opportunity to actively supervise this transition or simply stand by and do nothing.

 

The President of the Polish Public Health Agency, Andrej Fal of Warsaw's Cardinal Wyszyński University, has proposed that a comprehensive strategy should be implemented to address the issue of tobacco. This strategy includes focusing on preventive measures, eliminating tobacco triggers, increasing tobacco taxes, and reducing the tax burden and prices of low-harm products to encourage current smokers to quit.

 

Farr further criticizes the World Health Organization (WHO) for not prioritizing the group it should be concerned about – the 250 million smokers who are attempting to quit. He argues that these individuals should be the focus of the WHO's efforts. He expresses concern over the current situation, suggesting that the WHO's stance is inadvertently encouraging smokers to continue their habit.

 

Pawel's overall strategy is aimed at creating a minimum of one preventive clinic in Poland, restricting the availability of tobacco, particularly in easily accessible areas such as gas stations, eliminating the public's desire to buy cigarettes, or gradually increasing prices, and limiting the advertisement of all nicotine-containing products.

 

Experts point to successful cases in Sweden and the United Kingdom. Sweden has reduced its smoking rate from 15% to 5.6% within 15 years by promoting smokeless nicotine products, making it the country with the lowest smoking rate in Europe. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom plans to lower its smoking rate to below 5% by 2030 through the use of e-cigarettes and similar devices.

 

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