Harm Reduction in Current Tobacco Control Treaty WHOs Critique

With an unchanged number of tobacco users since the global treaty came into force 17 years ago, Prof. Robert Beaglehol and Prof. Ruth Bonita, both of whom worked with WHO, said

“Most people smoke because they are nicotine dependent. Tobacco harm reduction reduces the harm from burnt tobacco by less harmful methods of delivering nicotine instead of cigarettes; these alternatives disrupt the cigarette industry.” There is a lot of potential to do that,” Prof. Robert Beaglehol and Prof. Ruth Bonita said.

Despite the implementation of the FCTC (implemented in 2005), only 30% of countries are on track to achieve the WHO adult tobacco use target of 30% reduction in prevalence by 2030, while most countries are not on track to achieve it. Sustainable Development Goals for Non-Communicable Diseases 3.4.

Harm reduction as a potential approach

In addition, two experts say that both The Conference of the Parties to WHO and the FCTC refused to recognize harm reduction.

“The FCTC is no longer fit for purpose, especially for low-income countries. Neither the WHO nor the FCTC are based on the latest evidence on the role of innovative nicotine delivery devices in aiding the transition from cigarettes to far less harmful products. Equally, the focus on youth, much of which is experimental, detracts from the important public health goal of reducing cigarette deaths among adults,” the experts said.

“The blunt but honest criticism of the WHO and the FCTC by two genuinely qualified and dedicated public health experts is a wake-up call to the WHO and other tobacco control advocates who are still eyeing the agency’s ‘outdated approach’ in addressing the problem of smoking. Close and follow up. The time has come for WHO to allow an independent review of its tobacco control policies and to look objectively at the evidence supporting harm reduction. “Science has made great strides over the past decade and Smokers have been provided with better options that can actually save their lives. Public health policies should keep up with these developments rather than undermine their ability to help smokers avoid the harms of cigarettes,” said Dr. Fernando Fernandez says.

Source: MadeIndia

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