The Heartland Institute has urged the US Food and Drug Administration to acknowledge tobacco harm reduction (THR) products as tools that have been shown to have a positive impact on public health.

The Institute was responding to an FDA advanced notice of proposed rulemaking aimed at obtaining information related to the role that flavors play in tobacco products.

Lindsey Stroud, the Institute’s state government relations manager said that anti-tobacco campaigns and tax increases had tried to curb the use of tobacco products, but that they offered only a strategy of “quit or die”. There was another approach: tobacco harm reduction, which explicitly included the continued use of tobacco or nicotine, and was designed to reduce the health effects of tobacco use.

There were numerous THR products currently on the market in the US – including snus, electronic cigarettes and vaping devices, and HNB products – all of which effectively delivered nicotine in a less harmful way than combustible cigarettes.

‘Flavors are an important component of THR products and vital to helping many smokers cease using combustible tobacco,’ she said.

Stroud’s response looks in depth at the role of flavors in THR products, at youth and tobacco harm reduction, at advertising and e-cigarettes; and it presents some recommended regulatory priorities. 

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