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BATNZ Promotes Benefits of Harm Reduction

BATNZ Promotes Benefits of Harm Reduction as Part Of Progressive Public Health Policy

On World Smokefree Day 2014, British American Tobacco New Zealand (BATNZ) is calling on the Government and World Health Organisation (WHO) to employ tobacco harm reduction policies as a more progressive approach to tobacco regulation.

“For governments like ours that aim to reduce tobacco use, we believe it’s time for new, more progressive approaches to be considered”, says Dawn O'Connor, BATNZ spokesperson.

Successive New Zealand Governments have sought to reduce rates of tobacco-related disease for many years. Controlling tobacco through a harm reduction approach would create an opportunity to embrace the products, like e-cigarettes, that support it.”

Ms O’Connor says “There is now a large body of research that has found that e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking and prevent relapse. If we really want to help smokers, a regulated e-cigarette industry with manufacturing standards and high quality products is needed. Currently, we have a situation where people are buying products that do not have to meet quality or safety standards.”

BATNZ recently proposed regulating e-cigarettes to the Select Committee on plain packaging as an effective way to reduce smoking rates without breaching international trade obligations.

Ms O’Connor concludes: “Tobacco harm reduction provides a progressive public health policy direction. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate on making this policy a global reality.”


####

NOTES TO JOURNALISTS:

1. To view the Medsafe’s classification of e-cigarettes, please go to www.medsafe.govt.nz/regulatory/guideline/electroniccigarettes.asp
2. For information from the Ministry of Health on e-cigarettes, please go to www.health.govt.nz/our-work/preventative-health-wellness/tobacco-control/electronic-nicotine-delivery-systems-ends-including-e-cigarettes
3. To view comments from NZ-based experts on the latest research on e-cigarettes, please go towww.sciencemediacentre.co.nz/2014/05/23/e-cigarettes-and-quitting-smoking-expert-responds/
4. More than 50 leading researchers and public health specialists from 15 countries have written an open letter to Margaret Chan Director-General of the WHO in support of e-cigarettes as the ‘potential for tobacco harm reduction products to reduce the burden of smoking related disease is very large, and these products could be among the most significant health innovations of the 21st Century’. To view the open letter please go to http://nicotinepolicy.net/documents/letters/MargaretChan.pdf
5. In 2010, BAT plc. Established Nicoventures, a stand-alone company which focuses on bringing licensed nicotine products to smokers wanting to replace, reduce or stop smoking. In December 2012,BAT plc acquired CN Creative, a company which currently has several e-cigarette products on the market as well as new, innovative e-cigarette technologies in development.
6. For more information regarding BAT’s work into Tobacco Harm Reduction can be found in the BAT Group’s Sustainability Summary Report. To download a copy, please visit: www.bat.com/sr2013
The report is also available for iPad and Android tablets and the app can be downloaded for free fromiTunes or Google Play.

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