Heated Tobacco Products and Traditional Products – Balancing Legislative Frameworks

Legislative frameworks and policies regarding tobacco use and consumption are the first step in efforts to reduce smoking. However, in regard to adult smokers who do not wish to quit, it is particularly important to consider better alternative as a new category of alternative tobacco products that eliminate the burning (or combustion) process and instead gently heat tobacco to release nicotine. These products produce no smoke or ash, thereby significantly reducing the levels of harmful chemicals that are behind the majority of smoking-related diseases.

Imposing distinct regulations on traditional products and alternative products, which, although not completely risk-free, is a better option than traditional cigarettes, will contribute to expediting the approach to a smoke-free future, and motivate more adult smokers to switch to nicotine products that are considered a better alternative than traditional tobacco products.

In this regard, the Public Health Agency in England recently published its the seventh independent report on the use of electronic cigarettes (also known as vaping), which was prepared by researchers at the prestigious University “King’s College,” and included evidence on the use of electronic cigarettes to quit smoking, as well as useful information for policies and regulations for these alternatives.

The report, which was published in February 2021, confirmed that alternative products such as electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products are better options than traditional cigarettes for adult smokers. The report further affirmed that there are many misconceptions about the relative harm of non-combustible alternatives, and that governments have a role to play in designing policies that encourage smokers to switch to alternatives if they are unable to quit smoking completely. Furthermore, evidence has indicated that using e-cigarettes (vaping) is a better way to stop smoking than nicotine replacement therapy.

Here, it must be recalled that one of the new effective alternatives involves the mechanism of heating tobacco instead of burning it. This innovation has brought about a fundamental change and that will facilitate the achievement of the global goal of achieving a smoke-free future and offers a better way out for adult smokers to move away from traditional cigarettes.

Efforts to reduce the proportion of smokers depend on many available mechanisms that should be taken into consideration by governing agencies; the most important of which is the creation of legislation that contributes to the transition and access of adult smokers who do not wish to quit smoking to alternative products that have been scientifically proven to produce fewer harmful chemicals compared to traditional cigarettes. Though they present a better option than continuing to smoke, alternative products are not risk-free, and the best step is to quit tobacco consumption permanently.

This article is sponsored by Philip Morris Jordan