THR strategy to get tobacco-free nation by 2040 emphasized

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 organized 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 Dhaka hotel 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 has 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 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 was a former Secretary General of the World Medical Association (WMA).
Dr Altamash Mahmood, Core Faculty Member – Public Health Nutrition at Bangladesh Open University, an avid vaper himself, reiterated how vaping is established as a cessation tool and a safer alternative to smoking. “Cigarettes are harmful, but nicotine is not. This is because smoking involves combustion that create tar and other toxicants. Vaping, on the other hand, only heats the liquid to create vapour to deliver nicotine. Moreover, vaping does not induce second-hand smoking.”
Most nations seek public health advocacy from Public Health England and according to them, vaping is 95% safer than smoking cigarettes.