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Smokers In South Africa Feel Excluded

Smokers In South Africa Feel Excluded..  Tobacco users in SA feel they are being left out of the conversation when it comes to the development of new tobacco regulations being implemented in the country.

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Smokers In South Africa

This is according to a new international survey conducted by independent research firm Povaddo that suggested that 83% of South Africans felt their voices had been excluded for too long and that a new approach to regulation was needed to better balance the voices of nicotine consumers and those who don’t consume such products.

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In the study, commissioned by Philip Morris International (PMI), 44,000 adults in 22 countries across the globe, including SA, were surveyed.

Phillip Morris SA says that finding the right balance of regulations aimed at preventing smoking initiation is key.

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It said promoting smoking cessation should be complemented by measures that enable those adults who would otherwise continue to smoke to have access to and non-misleading information about science-based alternatives.

“The inclusion of a harm-reduction approach in strategies aimed at decreasing smoking prevalence has the potential to foster more rapid declines and can allow for progress in the realm of public health.”

Heat not burn — this is PMI’s approach with their Iqos device, which warms the tobacco with a mix of water and glycerine.

This means fewer toxicants are absorbed by the smoker.

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PMI international communications chief Tommaso di Giovanni said the pace of change depends not only on them but the public health community, governments, the medical community and all those who had a say.

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Smoking is rapidly declining globally and some governments have taken a strict approach on regulation of tobacco alternatives and countries such as India have a complete ban on vaping and heated tobacco products despite there being 100m smokers in the country.

“We’ve seen bans are ineffective in driving societal change. People always find a way and turn to the illicit trade. What’s pragmatic to do is to differentiate regulation.
“When you have a number of products available you can restrict much more the more harmful ones,” he said, arguing that the less harmful products should have less restrictions and less tax as a way to incentivise change. “In that way you do one thing: those who would want to quit continue to do so, those who would instead continue using cigarettes switch to less harmful products and generate change much faster.
“None of these products are risk free. We do not and won’t encourage people to use them because that would counter the goal of reducing harm. If it happened it would damage our own ambition because those opposed to change would use that phenomenon to say then let’s ban or restrict all those alternatives. What we’re trying to achieve is those who continue smoking improve their life trajectory,” Di Giovanni said.

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