The issue of tobacco harm reduction (THR) is not new in Europe, but now it has received support from an unlikely direction: German dentists.

Several doctors associated with the University of Leipzig Medical Center and clinics in Cologne are calling for the integration of tobacco harm reduction strategies into dental care, citing the immediate health benefits that can be derived from stopping the use of combustible tobacco products.

One dentist has even begun keeping novel nicotine products in his clinic to show them to patients struggling to kick conventional cigarettes.

This urgent call from dentists – who as medical professionals consider themselves to be “at the front line” of harm reduction efforts – drives home the need for a serious discussion about harm reduction, particularly in light of the fact that weaning millions of people off nicotine entirely is an unrealistic, impractical public health target. In practice, a far more advisable policy would be to empower health professionals to encourage the switch from tobacco to alternative nicotine products like e-cigarettes, which carry far lower risks for the user.

Read full article here.

European Views – 2021-11-17.

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