Update on UK Consultation on Tobacco Control: Real opportunity or false dawn for Tobacco Harm Reduction?

The deadline for submissions to the UK Department of Health consultation on Tobacco Control has now passed. I don’t know how many responses were submitted in total, but those I have spotted from tobacco companies can be accessed as follows: BAT here; Imperial Tobacco here ; Jti  here; PMI  here and those from health charities such as ASH(UK) and Cancer Research UK can be accessed  here and  here respectively. On the same day that the submission deadline closed, the Royal College of Physicians issued a new report “Ending smoking in Britain” which can be accessed here. While there is a lot of reading here (and I’m still ploughing through it all myself) I’d recommend anyone with an interest in harm reduction to look through the relevant sections of these submissions and especially the RCP report. I could be wrong, but there is perhaps more common ground on harm reduction (as least as a concept) than one might otherwise anticipate. What do others think?

A summary of responses will be made available on the Department of Health website at the end of the year so I guess we will have to wait and see what their overall take is on things. I should add that I based my own (minimalist in comparison!) response on five core arguments 1) An abstinence-only approach to tobacco control may have had its day; new thinking is needed,  2)  Formulaic regulatory proposals might be counterproductive: long-term beneficial public health outcomes should be paramount, 3)Harm reduction and product innovation; challenges and opportunities should be evaluated objectively, 4)A new regulatory framework covering all nicotine containing products would empower the consumer, 5) Incentive for business transformation within the tobacco industry; a key stakeholder that can be part of the solution. If anyone would like a copy of my submission, just flag this up in a response to this posting and I’ll work out some way to get it to you. Kindly note though that I don’t claim to have a monopoly on wisdom in this area; that’s another good reason to take a look at the submissions noted above, and the RCP report!

2 comments ↓

#1 Tom on 09.26.08 at 12:48 AM

It’s interesting to read about the UK as it seems like they don’t ever look to the facts. Adrian can you post a link to your writings. I’d love to read them. I am encouraged that folks like you are taking a stand!

#2 Adrian on 09.28.08 at 11:01 AM

Tom -yes am working on that Will get back to you when it is sorted!

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