Tuesday 26 October 2010

How harm reduction works

A little story from Iceland tells a bigger story about how tobacco harm reduction could, and does, work in practice...

The sale of cigarettes has decreased significantly this year compared to 2009. According to the State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland (ÁTVR), sales dropped by almost 13 percent in the first nine months.

However, at the same time the sale of snuff and chewing tobacco has increased by 9.2 percent—at the end of September almost 18.8 tons of snuff and chewing tobacco had been sold in Iceland, Morgunbladid reports.

Cause and effect? Coincidence? Who knows? But if cigarette smokers are happy to switch to snuff and chewing tobacco, what would happen if they had access to snus, which is both less hazardous and—so many people say—more pleasurable than either?

Alas, the sale of snus remains illegal in Iceland, as it is in the whole EU (Sweden excepted).

Way to go, public health prohibitionists!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Snowdon

Are you being set up?

Is snus 'less harmful' than smoking?

If so, so what?

Is eating smoked bacon less harmful than unsmoked bacon?

Is cheese less harmful than olive oil?

(when inserted in a nostril)

Or steel, when inserted between the ribs?

Or lead, anywhere in the body?

Especially at 2000 joules?

If you trip over a crack in the pavement and break your neck does it matter whether you are a smoker or not?

And what abart bonfire night?

If I sniff a wiff of smoke, who do I sue?

Just askin', is all.