The health risks of smoking are indisputable. Completely giving up the use of tobacco or nicotine is always the best alternative for one's health. However, not all smokers want to stop smoking. For them, the concept of harm reduction is a way to reduce the health risks associated with smoking conventional tobacco products, sometimes significantly.
Every approach to risk or harm reduction is characterized by recognising (high-risk) behaviours such as drug use, alcohol consumption, or tobacco use as part of individual life realities. Consumers are met with understanding and compassion rather than being judged, marginalised, or punished for their behaviour.
The objective is to engage with those impacted in an open manner and to support them constructively and pragmatically in their journey towards a lifestyle change that may not be entirely risk-free, but which poses significantly fewer risks to their health.
With regard to tobacco-related health damage among smokers, the concept of Tobacco Harm Reduction aims at reducing the number of cigarettes smoked and/or switching to alternative products with potentially significantly lower health risks. Ultimately, consumers should be able to completely abstain from the consumption of tobacco or nicotine-containing products.
Reemtsma explicitly endorses this approach. We welcome the fact that more and more experts from science and medicine in Germany, Europe and worldwide are now recognising that so-called novel products – for example e-cigarettes as a tobacco-free alternative – can play a special role in smoking cessation. Unfortunately, there are still reservations in many places, partly based on ignorance and partly on misunderstanding. We would like to help overcome these reservations for the benefit of millions of adult consumers.
In our view, this cannot be achieved through emotional debates on bans, but above, all through a fact- and evidence-based, solution-oriented and medical-scientific discussion. Only in this way can the positive potentials of a Tobacco Harm Reduction approach be seriously realized for individual tobacco smokers as well as for the general population.
For adult smokers who do not wish to quit smoking, there are already alternatives available that are potentially much less harmful. Besides e-cigarettes, these include tobacco heaters, modern chewing tobacco pouches or tobacco-free nicotine pouches. What they all have in common is that their use, while not risk-free, is potentially much less risky than continuing to smoke traditional tobacco products that burn tobacco.
These alternatives need to be given much stronger scientific and health policy focus.
Learn more about tobacco-free nicotine pouches in our info flyer
You would also like to know why tobacco-free nicotine pouches cannot currently be legally sold in Germany? Then feel free to drop by our Public Affairs website and find out what impulses we, as a responsible manufacturer, are attempting to bring into the debate on an appropriate and purposeful regulation of this important product category.