1 Million Years of Life: How harm reduction in tobacco policy can save lives

Research Economist Daniel Pryor sets out the case for a liberal harm reduction policy in tobacco. He argues that an evidence-based harm reduction approach that expands reduced-risk options for current smokers can save lives while respecting individual choices.

The key findings are:

  • Young female smokers are being left behind in our vaping revolution; if young women vaped at the same rate as young men, over one million years of life could be saved.
  • A liberal, evidence-based approach to tobacco harm reduction has been shown to provide enormous gains for public health, both domestically and internationally.
  • Sensible reforms to e-cigarette advertising restrictions could help many smokers switch by combating widespread misperceptions about the risks of vaping.
  • Repealing counterproductive EU regulations on e-cigarettes and encouraging public bodies to reexamine their indoor vaping bans will also help more smokers make the switch.
  • While e-cigarettes are having a significant positive impact on public health, it's important to ensure smokers have a wide choice of reduced-risk products since different smokers have different preferences.
  • Creating a new taxation and regulatory category for ‘heat-not-burn’ and similar products will encourage innovation to ensure as many smokers as possible switch to safer alternatives.