Driving Change: Bangladesh THR Summit 2023 Paves the Way for a Smoke-Free Nation

On May 27, 2023, the Bangladesh THR Summit 2023 brought together a diverse group of health professionals and policymakers to ignite discussions about the pivotal role of tobacco harm reduction (THR) in realizing the vision of a “Smoke-free Bangladesh” by 2040. Spearheaded by Voice of Vapers Bangladesh in collaboration with the Asia Harm Reduction Alliance, this landmark summit was a catalyst for change.

Esteemed speakers such as Masud – Uz – Zaman, Prof. Dr. Marewa Glover, Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, Dr. Kgosi Letlape, Dr. Delon Human, Dr. Derek Yach, Prof. Dr. Mihaela Raescu, Dr. Anders Milton, Michael Landl, and Federico Fernandez graced the event with their expertise and insights.

The consensus among these professionals was clear: to achieve the goal of a smoke-free society, it is imperative to regulate safer nicotine delivery methods while implementing stronger controls on conventional cigarettes. Drawing inspiration from successful harm reduction strategies employed in countries like Canada, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand, the summit emphasized the need for evidence-based approaches.

By embracing harm reduction measures, in line with Article 1(d) of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the summit aimed to foster a comprehensive understanding of how to develop a progressive tobacco control plan. This approach focuses on regulation rather than restriction, empowering individuals to make informed choices and reducing the harm caused by traditional smoking methods.

The Bangladesh THR Summit 2023 marked a pivotal moment in the country’s journey toward a smoke-free future. It served as a platform to promote dialogue, collaboration, and knowledge exchange among key stakeholders, fostering a collective commitment to prioritize public health and advance tobacco harm reduction strategies. With this event as a catalyst, Bangladesh is poised to chart a transformative course, where innovation and regulation work hand in hand to create a healthier and smoke-free nation for all.