The European Respiratory Society (ERS) has issued a new position paper which warns that tobacco harm reduction strategies that support the use of alternative nicotine delivery products for smoking cessation are not effective and are based on incorrect assumptions and undocumented claims.
The ERS Position Paper on Tobacco Harm Reduction says such strategies should not be used as a population-based approach to tobacco control.
The statement says harm reduction strategies are “based on incorrect claims that smokers cannot or will not quit smoking” and are “reliant upon undocumented assumptions that alternative nicotine delivery products are highly effective as a smoking cessation aid”.
The statement warns that e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, which are largely produced and marketed by the tobacco industry, are "just another example of the tobacco industry’s long-established tactic to sell so-called safer products in a bid to deter smokers from quitting and to make smoking more socially acceptable".
The ERS says several studies already confirm that e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products have short-term toxic effects on health. If we wait any longer to see the long-term effects, we risk facing consequences similar to those caused by ignoring the early warnings about how harmful conventional cigarettes are to health, it warns.