Call for ‘Tobacco Harm Reduction’ strategy

Speakers at an event urged policymakers to incorporate Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) strategy in their tobacco control plans and establish safer alternatives such as vaping products as smoking cessation medium like progressive nations around the world. To commemorate World Vape Day 2022, Voice of Vapers Bangladesh organised a panel discussion titled, “The Need for a Tobacco Harm Reduction Strategy: Achieving the Government’s Health Agenda & Revenue Ambitions” which was held at a hotel in Dhaka on Saturday.

Dr Delon Human, President of Health Diplomats and an expert on harm reduction said: “Bangladesh is widely recognized as a resilient nation, known for her prowess to prove her critics wrong. Historically, the indomitable spirit of Bangladeshis have made them question the status quo and establish the rights of its people. The stupendous development across all sectors is a true testament of that.”

“I believe the Prime Minister of Bangladesh H E Sheikh Hasina envisions a tobacco-free Bangladesh by 2040. But to achieve this, there needs to be a credible harm reduction strategy as practiced by many developed countries. The authorities must consider regulating safer alternatives such as vaping and make them accessible to smokers wanting to quit. Set quality parameters, regulate it like any other industry and promote it as a cessation tool,” he added.

Dr Delon has served as an adviser on global public health strategies to three Directors-General of the WHO and to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. He is a former secretary general of the World Medical Association (WMA).

Most nations seek public health advocacy from Public Health England and according to them, vaping is 95% safer than smoking cigarettes.

Apart from the panel discussion, a one-of-a-kind “vapecon” was organised that brought together individuals from all over the country who are opting for a safer lifestyle. About 5000 vapers signed a petition to protect their right to vape. The event was powered by BENDSTA.