Nicotine FAQ item

Frequently asked questions about smoking, nicotine and e-cigarettes

Why is there so much opposition to safer nicotine products, including from the WHO?
Why is there so much opposition to safer nicotine products, including from the WHO?

There are many people who work in tobacco control who are against the use of safer nicotine products to reduce the harm caused by tobacco. Many argue that safer nicotine products were created by major tobacco companies as a way to get young people to use nicotine and then become smokers. There is no evidence that this is the case. 

Many people also seem to have a view that it is morally wrong to use nicotine for recreational purposes. This is similar to moral judgements about recreational drug use. 

These beliefs and views mean that misinformation about and propaganda against safer nicotine products are put forward by a global network of well-organised and well-funded NGOs and medical organisations – including the WHO. 

This misinformation causes confusion among adult smokers who could benefit from switching from smoking, which we know is deadly, to safer nicotine products, which we know are much safer. Unfortunately it also affects the views of health professionals, politicians and policy makers, leading them to argue in favour of tough restrictions on the availability of safer nicotine products.