GSTHR’s Burning Issues

Posted 19th October 2020 by Dave Cross
Viscount Ridley and Mark Pawsey MP welcomed the official launch of the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR) report, at Parliament in 2019. Now, two years on, everyone can attend the follow-up as Knowledge-Action-Change launches Burning Issues: The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction 2020 in a live online event on Wednesday 4 November at 10:00GMT.

Burning Issues, the major new report, documents both the advances and significant challenges facing tobacco harm reduction in 2020.

The follow up to the No Fire, No Smoke report is the second in a biennial series from the GSTHR, a unique project established to map the development of tobacco harm reduction and use, availability and regulatory responses to safer nicotine products around the world.

The original 128-page report concluded:

  • Safer Nicotine Products (SNP) deliver nicotine with a significant reduction in risk as compared to combusted tobacco products – there is ‘No Fire, No Smoke
  • International evidence shows that these products are safer for the individual smoker, immediate family and bystanders than smoking cigarettes
  • The provision of safer ways of delivering nicotine enables people to continue using nicotine but to avoid the health risks of smoking
  • ‘Quit or Die’ is no longer the only option for those who cannot give up nicotine. SNP - including e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn products and Swedish snus offer another way – ‘Quit or Try’
  • The rapid rise in the use of SNP has been driven by consumer demand often in the face of public health or government opposition
  • Flawed science, misleading public information and sensational media reporting are all sowing seeds of doubt about SNP among consumers, politicians and the general public
  • Banning these products, or subjecting them to onerous regulation or high taxation effectively deny access to potentially lifesaving products
  • SNP could not only affect a global revolution in public health but also at no cost to governments

The Burning Issues launch event is being held in partnership with THR Malawi and will be livestreamed over three interactive sessions from London, Lilongwe and locations around the world.

Guest speakers include the internationally renowned neuropsychopharmacologist Professor David Nutt, who will be providing a keynote address, along with Australian MP and Leader of the Reason Party Fiona Patten, the Counterfactual’s Clive Bates, INNCO President Samrat Chowdhery, New Nicotine Alliance UK’s Martin Cullip and Chimwemwe Ngoma of THR Malawi.


The online audience will also hear from key members of the GSTHR team, including Executive Editor Harry Shapiro and Project Director Professor Gerry Stimson, who will explore the report’s findings in detail.

Burning Issues takes stock, addressing both progress and achievements in the field since the first edition was published in 2018, but also identifying the major obstacles preventing tobacco harm reduction from fulfilling its public health potential worldwide. With over 8 million deaths still attributable to smoking-related causes every year, the report authors hope that the findings, conclusions and recommendations will be of interest to policymakers at all levels, particularly during the current EU TPD review process and in advance of the WHO’s delayed COP9, now set for 2021.

Registered audience members will be invited to pose their questions live at the end of each panel. Sessions will be available for playback and the full report will be available for download from 4 November. Registration is free and all are welcome. For the full programme and to register, visit


  • Burning Issues: The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction 2020 - [link]
  • GSTHR Report Launch, Planet of the Vapes, 2018 – [link]
  • No Fire, No Smoke, Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction report, 2018 – [link]

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, motorbikes, and dog walker
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