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E-Cigarette Summit: Govt Urged To Regulate Harmful Tobacco Products

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E-Cigarette Summit: Govt Urged To Regulate Harmful Tobacco Products
E-Cigarette Summit: Govt Urged To Regulate Harmful Tobacco Products

A renowned health expert and director of Counterfactual Consulting, Clive Bates, has advocated the adoption of risk-proportionate strategies to regulate harmful products in the tobacco industry.

Speaking on the theme, the new tobacco wars, at a Virtual E-Cigarette Summit in the United Kingdom (UK), Bates said governments and local medical stakeholders must collaborate to prevent harmful tobacco products.

Bates disclosed that there are many scientific discoveries and innovations that are targeted at exploding the harm products in the tobacco control community.

He said, “The way I see a lot of scientific innovations that are coming out of the tobacco control community, it is a kind of desperate search for harm.

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“I think the reason for that is without science, there wouldn’t be tobacco control, and it would be like coffee or caffeine.

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Mr Bates noted that the frantic search for the harm had exposed the process to all kinds of abuses. The first is terrible use of toxicology. For example, tiny traces of metals being tucked up into significant health risks.

“Above all, I think the biggest problem is in this one, which is the abuse of correlation and causation.”

Elaborating on how Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) products can be regulated, Bates said, “if regulation makes vape less accessible or acceptable, more expensive, less consumer friendly, pharmacologically less effective and inhibits innovations, then the regulations can cause harm by perpetuating smoking.

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He said a “risk-proportionate approach is required, which means that regulators impose restrictions in proportion to the risk to health posed by the product.”

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He said that 68 people have died and 2,800 persons were hospitalized in an outbreak of severe lung episodes concentrated in North America.

“This outbreak was consistent with localized supply chain contamination. In other words, it rose and then fell short, he noted, adding that “it involved supply chain contamination, a bit of mini acetate, contaminating the supply chain for cannabis and illicit cannabis vapes.

Bates argued that “it has nothing to do with nicotine. Yet a large campaign was put in place deliberately. In my view, to conflate these two things, it is sad to say it worked. We now have this in the United Kingdom, not even the country where it happened.

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“There was a surge in people who thought that vaping was as harmful or more harmful than smoking up to a third in Britain and a contraction in the number of people who rightly think it was much less.

“At the end, the assumption that new technologies carry unknown risks guide much of the debate and it is often amplified to levels that overshadow the dangers of known risks.

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“That is why we will prevail in the end because the underlying benefits of these technologies will prevail. And all of this noise and vitriol will subside, be forgotten, and we will have a more sensible way of using nicotine,” Bates added

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