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CoEHAR Writes to the European Commissioner for Health

The Centre of Excellence for the acceleration of Harm Reduction has written a letter to the European Commissioner for Health asking for a redefinition of anti-smoking policies

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The Centre of Excellence for the acceleration of Harm Reduction (CoEHAR) has written a letter to the European Commissioner for Health asking for a redefinition of anti-smoking policies. The experts in harm reduction express a desire that the European Union reconsiders its position in light of the wealth of scientific evidence supporting vaping.

In total, ninety harm reduction experts have urged the European Commissioner to consider the importance of applying risk reduction principles in public health policies to fight smoking addiction.

The letter states: "Our hope is that, in light of scientific evidence, the FCTC and the European Union conduct a careful, balanced, and transparent review of the available scientific evidence regarding non-combustible products, compared to conventional cigarettes, to provide indispensable information for making decisions in the interest of millions of smokers."

The experts have acted as we move closer to the late November meeting where international delegates representing the countries which signed the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) gather in Panama to discuss tobacco and nicotine policies at the tenth session of the Conference of Parties (COP10).

COP10 will produce a set of public health guidelines for participating countries, including the United Kingdom. All advocates are aware that the WHO is pushing for vaping to be considered a tobacco product and treated exactly the same as cigarettes and cigars – running contrary to “the entire scientific literature that prove the effectiveness of risk reduction principles in the fight against smoking.”

Professor Riccardo Polosa, CoEHAR’s Founder, said: “It is necessary to understand that many smokers, if not the majority, cannot or do not intend to quit smoking. And for these individuals, especially those with specific pathologies, the transition from conventional cigarettes to combustion-free devices may mean a significant improvement in terms of health”.

CoEHAR talks about, “virtuous countries (such as United Kingdom, Norway, Japan, and New Zealand) that have adopted harm reduction principles have all recorded a significant reduction in smoking prevalence, even among young people.”

Professor Polosa continued: “Any regulation on combustion-free products should strike a balance between the need to protect young people and the need to help adult smokers quit.”

CoEHAR says its research program at the Centre of Excellence, “investigated the effects of combustion-free products and their impact on health conditions, demonstrating with reliable data that these products lead to a significant risk reduction if compared to conventional cigarettes, help smokers quit, and ensure clinically relevant improvements in users with smoking-related pathologies.”


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Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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