CASAA: About Harm Reduction

The concept of tobacco harm reduction is controversial in the tobacco control community. Many anti-tobacco activists would like to see all tobacco and recreational nicotine use stopped, while others realize that may be an unrealistic expectation and seek alternative, low-risk sources of nicotine to reduce the health risks facing smokers.

''The absence of effective harm reduction options for smokers is perverse, unjust, and acts against the rights and best interests of smokers and the public health.'' -- Britton J, Edwards R. Tobacco smoking, harm reduction, and nicotine product regulation. Lancet 2008;371:441–5.

Click the links below to find out more about the concept of harm reduction, available smoking alternatives, the truth about nicotine and a promising new smoking alternative - electronic cigarettes.

Smoking Alternatives: David T. Sweanor, Senior Legal Counsel of the National Non-Smokers' Rights Association, commenting on behalf of the World Health Organization, recommended taking a pragmatic, multifacted approach. "For people who cannot or will not be able to exit completely both the tobacco and nicotine markets we should be looking at ways of allowing them to move to alternative forms of nicotine." read more

Electronic Cigarettes: Answers to commonly asked questions about electronic cigarettes. read more

Understanding Harm Reduction: Tobacco Harm Reduction is a public health strategy that centers on providing sufficient nicotine to maintain normal functioning while eliminating the harmful effects of inhaling smoke. read more

Nicotine Effects: A variety of ingredients in tobacco smoke cause cancer, heart disease, and lung disease. Nicotine is not one of them. In fact, nicotine is being considered as a therapeutic agent to treat such conditions as attention deficit disorder, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Tourette syndrome, sleep apnea, obesity, ulcerative colitis, and inflammatory skin disorders. read more 

The Nicotine Myth:  Link to a YouTube Video that discusses the concept of Tobacco Harm Reduction and how snus fits into the picture.

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