Upholding the Right of Smokers to Access Harm Reduction

Given the prevalence of smoking in Pakistan, it’s essential to support smokers’ access to information about Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) tools like vapes and oral nicotine pouches. By providing accurate information, we can empower smokers to make informed choices for harm reduction.

Countries worldwide have recognized the value of THR as part of comprehensive tobacco control efforts. For example, Sweden’s successful adoption of snus and oral nicotine pouches has led to a remarkable decline in smoking rates.

From 16.5% in 2004, Sweden’s smoking prevalence has dropped to 5.8% today, making it the lowest globally. This success story underscores the importance of embracing THR alternatives.

In Pakistan, tobacco control measures often focus on strict regulations, limiting access to less harmful alternatives for smokers. However, it’s crucial to recognize that THR is an essential part of comprehensive tobacco control efforts.

Smokers deserve clear, unbiased information about THR options, considering cultural and socioeconomic factors debunking myths, and misconceptions by providing evidence-based information is essential. While tailored policies and education campaigns can better serve public health interests.

To better serve public health interests, tailored policies and education campaigns are necessary. These should consider Pakistan’s unique context, respecting cultural norms while promoting harm reduction.

Collaborating among government agencies, public health organizations, and civil society is vital. By pooling expertise and resources, comprehensive policies can strike a balance between public health and autonomy of adult smokers.

Promoting smokers’ right to access harm reduction acknowledges the reality that embracing harm reduction strategies within tobacco control efforts is crucial to reducing smoking prevalence in Pakistan.


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Published by
Nazzir Zaidi