The panel of speakers and tobacco harm reduction experts in a webinar held last May, discussed the importance of sensibly regulating safer nicotine alternatives in order to minimize tobacco-related mortality.
Called RESET: Saving Lives Through Sound Regulation of Safer Nicotine Alternatives, the acronym RESET: R- Risk-based Regulation, E- Ensuring Intended Use, S- Safety and Quality, E- Environmental Considerations and T- Traceability and Fiscal Policies, outlines the main principles that regulations should encompass.
The panel of speakers consisted of Professor Heino Stöver, a social scientist, who specialises in Social Scientific Addiction Research at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences in Germany; Dr Derek Yach – a renowned Global Public Health Consultant who has focused his career on tackling the smoking crises; and Dr Delon Human, a physician and Global Public Health expert who advocates tirelessly for tobacco harm reduction.
The aim of the webinar was “Advocating for Preferred Regulatory Principles, to maximise the Harm Reduction potential of vaping products while addressing public misconceptions and minimizing the risk associated with the category.”
The use of safer nicotine alternatives
While another recent webinar, this time organised by Bangladesh-based organisation ‘Voices of Vapers’ discusses the evidence on the efficacy of tobacco harm reduction products like e-cigarettes.
The speakers of the latter included Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, Michael Landl, Shahriar Arifin, DGM, Marketing, Unimed Unihealth Pharmaceuticals, Dr Rajib Joarder, Health Service Management and Policy Making, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and Schumann Zaman, President of Bangladesh Electronic Nicotine Delivery System Traders Association (BENDSTA).
They presented findings of a recently released white paper containing case studies related to vaping carried out in four countries, and answered questions from the audience who joined the live session. In line with statements by established health agencies such as Public Health England, the case studies clearly indicate that vapes are at least “95 percent safer” than combustible tobacco products, and “twice as effective as traditional nicotine replacement therapies.”
The paper highlighted that data from countries where these findings are considered and incorporated in local regulations, reflect the benefits of the products. “Countries that embrace vaping, such as France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada have witnessed a decrease in smoking rates that is twice as fast as the global average,” noted the paper.
Michael Landl emphasized the difference that such a change in approach could make. “Progressive countries are implementing vaping regulations. If Bangladesh implements the regulation for vaping, it could be 6 million people who could switch to vaping than smoking cigarettes as per our calculation.”
“Vapes are at least 95% safer than the traditional combustible tobacco, according to the Public Health England. It’s not the nicotine that kills people, but it’s the tar from smoking, the speakers said while replying questions,” he added.