bat bangladesh - Harm reduction

Home

bat bangladesh - Harm reduction

 

 
 

The use of tobacco products poses real and serious risks to health. The only way to avoid these risks is not to consume tobacco at all. However, the concept of harm reduction is increasingly being considered in relation to tobacco use and it is a key element of British American Tobacco’s business strategy.

Harm reduction is about finding practical ways to minimise the health impact of an inherently risky activity or behaviour, without seeking to stop it entirely. An example of harm reduction in action that is familiar to most of us is the use of seat belts and airbags in cars.

Harm reduction and tobacco

Regulatory policies based on discouraging people from starting to smoke and encouraging them to quit have been and continue to be effective. In the context of tobacco and health, few governments currently support the development of reduced risk tobacco products. Most governments simply argue for prevention and cessation.

British American Tobacco thinks it’s important to work towards producing consumer-acceptable, potentially reduced risk products. It believes there could be further public health gains if tobacco regulatory policies included harm reduction, for the millions of adults globally who will continue to consume tobacco products.

Some regulators and tobacco control advocates actually reject the concept of reduced risk tobacco products altogether, suggesting that the approach is inappropriate, as such products may discourage smokers from quitting, or lead people to become tobacco consumers who would not otherwise have done so.

Research and development

The science of tobacco harm reduction is complex, extremely challenging and spans many scientific disciplines. British American Tobacco has significantly expanded its research capabilities over the past few years to reflect the continued importance placed on work in this area.

It also publishes a specialist tobacco science website – bat-science.com Opens in new window – written by scientists for scientists. The site is designed to provide an overview of current research and development programmes, research data and recently published papers and posters for any scientist with an interest in tobacco-related research or related disciplines.