Tobacco control expert, Director of Counterfactual Consulting Limited, with his blog The counterfactual Clive Bates is an international authority in the fight against misinformation on vaping and Tobacco Harm Reduction.
Catania Conversation contacted Mr Bates to discuss the state of THR in the United States, which has recently seen a new surge in the numbers of smokers during 2020 after a period of increasing decline in the consumption of conventional cigarettes. A restrictive regulation on smoke-free products, an aggressive media campaign against it, together with unreasonable bias by lawmakers inflicted a huge blow on the opportunities given by those products. While the new President of the United States, Joe Biden, recently inaugurated a new approach on Harm Reduction and reduced risk devices, the country still has a long way to reach a comprehensive and effective strategy.
The approach by the White House with the new POTUS Joe Biden has been slightly changed on its consideration of Harm Reduction. Is this enough to see a real difference also for THR in the U.S?
The main change in the United States will come as the Food and Drug Administration approves more vaping, heated tobacco and other smoke-free products as “appropriate to the protection of public health”. We should hope that this will re-establish the competitive pressure against the cigarette trade and restore the confidence of consumers that has been lost through misinformation about risks. The Biden administration appears open to rules that would reduce nicotine in cigarettes. The theory is that this would cause smokers to quit completely or switch to safer alternatives.
Catalina Conversation – 2021-06-03.