Canberra, Australia, December 9, 2020 – The International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO), a global association advocating for sensible tobacco harm reduction policies, is urging Australia’s Senate to adopt a pragmatic approach toward low-risk nicotine products, warning that thousands of consumers may be forced to return to smoking unless balanced, risk-relative legislation is enacted.
In a written submission to an inquiry from Australia’s Senate Select Committee on Tobacco Harm Reduction, INNCO stressed that for those who smoke, but have been unable or unwilling to quit, tobacco harm reduction offers a lifeline, a pragmatic alternative to the ‘quit or die’ philosophy that leaves millions smoking and dying.
“The primary role of regulation should be to identify areas of known harm and enact proportional measures to reduce or eliminate them,” said Samrat Chowdhery, president of INNCO’s governing board. “There is substantial scientific evidence confirming e-cigarettes and other low-risk nicotine alternatives to be much less harmful than combustible tobacco. Australian smokers should have access to safer nicotine products, and we continue to advocate for tobacco harm reduction which is an effective mitigation strategy.”
In its written testimony to the Select Committee on Tobacco Harm Reduction, the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA) recommended to “endorse and support tobacco harm reduction as a legitimate strategy to reduce smoking-related deaths and disease as outlined in Australia’s National Tobacco Strategy and the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.”
“Governments have a responsibility to make safer products available for adults who wish to use them to reduce the harm from smoking,” wrote Dr Colin Mendelsohn and other ATHRA researchers. “Australia remains the only western democracy to ban the sale and use of nicotine for vaping. Nicotine vaping is a harm reduction strategy that will complement existing tobacco control and smoking cessation measures and accelerate the decline of smoking in Australia. There is a compelling case to ease restrictions and implement carefully balanced regulations that protect consumers without compromising the considerable potential benefits.”
More than 450 submissions have been published to the Parliament of Australia’s website, many of which represent the voices of Australian consumers and global expert scientists supporting the global evidence for proportional regulation of low-risk nicotine products.
Australia’s Select Committee on Tobacco Harm Reduction is due to publish its findings on the 18th December 2020. INNCO’s submission can be found by visiting: https://innco.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Sub243-INNCO.pdf.
International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO) was formed in 2016 to represent consumers of low-risk, alternative nicotine products. The organization brings together the voices of more than 30 grassroots consumer organisations to promote Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) on the global stage. THR is a public health policy that respects individual autonomy, empowers consumers to make safer choices, and offers pragmatic solutions to combating use of high-risk forms of tobacco.
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