Dr Fung Ying, head of the Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office, lamented the committee’s decision, saying: “We anticipate an increase in the use of heated tobacco products in future because we have failed to ban.”
Continuing the lies that surrounded the push to prohibit access to reduced harm products, she added: “At the present stage, our most urgent task is public education about the risks of heated tobacco products and to guard against the misleading claim that they bring a lower risk and observe the trend.”
Nancy Loucas, executive coordinator of CAPHRA, said: “CAPHRA is pleased to see that the impending ban on HTPs in Hong Kong has been abandoned by the government in favour of a pragmatic, science-based approach to tobacco harm reduction.
“It was pleasing to see that some of the officials involved in the process to decide the fate of the products strongly opposed the ban based on science that proves that HTPs have a lower level of toxicants compared to cigarettes, whilst addressing the concerns of creating black market in illicit trade in the products.”
Peter Dator, The Vapers Philippines, said: “The decision of the Bills Committee on Smoking also proves what we have been saying all along; that the most effective way to end smoking is to provide the public with better alternatives in the form of harm reduction products such as e-cigarettes.”
Dator also said that because of Hong Kong’s decision and the Public Health England review stating vaping is 95% safer than smoking, other nations such as the Philippines should consider adopting a harm reduction approach to tobacco control.
European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA) welcomed the news that Hong Kong is permitting access to harm reduction tools: “Our 2018 poll of Hong Kong smokers found, 41% incorrectly believe that nicotine in e-cigarettes causes cancer. More can be done to educate and correct misperceptions about nicotine.”