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Alternative products as a low-risk solution according to economist Moscone

Alternative products as a low-risk solution according to economist Moscone

At the vanguard of smoke-free initiatives, Sweden stands as a model of success not only for countries in the region but also internationally. This is reflected by the decrease in the prevalence of smoking to the level of about 5%, the quota at which a country is officially considered smoke-free.

Sweden is close to reaching this quota and its success is due to the adoption of harm reduction strategies that envisage the use of alternative products, such as heated products as a less harmful form than traditional burning cigarettes that release smoke and ash.

Health experts see harm reduction strategies as an alternative solution that has yielded positive results for countries that have adopted them. The Italian doctor, Ricardo Polosa states that "Tobacco harm reduction is an integral part of tobacco control policies and the proof is that countries that have accepted it such as Sweden, Norway, USA, New Zealand and Japan have achieved very good results. good in tobacco control.''

Invited to Italian radio 'Il Sole 24 Ore' Francesco Moscone, professor of Ca Foscari and Brunel University, author of several scientific works in the field of harm reduction sees the promotion of physical activity, the reduction of alcohol consumption and the consideration of alternative products on the way to quit smoking as a solution that could save the Italian National Health Service over 1 (one) billion euros. Furthermore, the professor explains how his scientific study found that if half of smokers in England switched to alternative products, such as vapes or heated products, the British National Health Service would save more than £500 million every year year.

Also, doctor Polosa sees the non-embrace of harm reduction policies as a very serious issue, citing large countries such as India and Brazil that are deprived of alternative tobacco solutions that are less harmful to consumers.

At the same time, Moscone, speaking on Radio Il Sole 24 hours, described the danger that comes from the illegal trade of tobacco products as too high, taking the example of Australia, Mexico and the United States.

"The risk of the illegal market is quite high. Consider Australia and Mexico. Both countries chose to ban alternatives which translated into increased informality. Let me emphasize that banning products is never going to work. Prohibition of alcohol in the US in the 1920s and 1930s is also an example of this." - argued the economics professor.

Professor Moscone concluded the interview by recommending that in an ideal world, we should focus more on educating young people than banning alternative products. Also identify high-risk products from lower-risk products and consider whether lower-risk products may be helpful in the smoking cessation process.