• April 21, 2024

There is another way

The authors of a new booklet are urging US new direction photolawmakers and regulators to rethink traditional strategies for combating tobacco smoking and its negative health outcomes.

In a press note issued yesterday, The Heartland Institute said that for decades, lawmakers and regulators had used taxes, bans, and strong regulations in an attempt to reduce the negative health effects of smoking. And recently, some had sought to extend those policies to electronic cigarettes.

‘A new booklet published by The Heartland Institute titled Vaping, E-Cigarettes, and Public Policy Toward Alternatives to Smoking urges policymakers to re-think that tax-and-regulate strategy,’ it said.

‘Health professionals have long known that the smoke created by combustible cigarettes, rather than the nicotine, is what makes smoking harmful. Smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes provide a much safer and healthier alternative delivery system for nicotine.

‘Tobacco harm reduction is a proven strategy for helping smokers reduce their tobacco use or quit altogether.

‘Dr. Brad Rodu, lead author of Vaping, E-Cigarettes, and Public Policy Toward Alternatives to Smoking, has been at the forefront of tobacco harm reduction research and policy development for more than 20 years. He is a professor of medicine at the University of Louisville, where he is a member of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and holds an endowed chair in tobacco harm reduction research.

‘Dr. Rodu and his co-authors – Matthew Glans and Lindsey Stroud of The Heartland Institute – encourage policymakers to be mindful of the extensive research that supports tobacco harm reduction and understand that “bans, excessive regulations, or high taxes on e-cigarettes could encourage smokers to stay with more-harmful traditional cigarettes”.’

The booklet discusses issues including:

■ Indoor and outdoor bans on vaping.

■ Prohibiting e-cigarette purchases by minors.

■ Regulating flavors.

■ Myths and facts about e-cigarettes.

■ The idea there is an epidemic of children being poisoned by e-cigarettes.

■ E-cigarettes as a gateway to smoking.

■ How e-cigarettes help smokers quit.

■ History of failed anti-smoking campaigns.

■ The case for tobacco harm reduction.

■ ‘Quit or Die’ as the only strategy.

A free PDF of the booklet is available at: https://www.heartland.org/_template-assets/documents/publications/Vaping%20E-Cigarettes%20and%20Public%20Policy.pdf.