Tobacco Harm Reduction: A Burning Issue for Asia
Written and edited by Harry Shapiro
Data compilation: Tomasz Jerzyński
Production coordinator: Grzegorz Król
Briefing design and layout: WEDA sc: Urszula Biskupska
Project management: Professor Gerry Stimson, Kevin Molloy and Paddy Costall
The briefing is available at: https://gsthr.org
Knowledge-Action-Change, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2 5BY
© Knowledge-Action-Change 2021
Tobacco Harm Reduction: A Burning Issue for Asia.
London: Knowledge-Action-Change, 2021.
The conception, design, analysis and writing of this briefing was undertaken independently and exclusively by Knowledge-Action-Change.
We are very grateful for the information offered, on a voluntary basis, by Samrat Chowdhery of Association of Vapers India (AVI), Nancy Loucas of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) and other individual consumer advocates living across the region.
Copyright in original material resides with K•A•C, except where otherwise acknowledged. Material can be reproduced subject to fair usage without first acquiring permission from K•A•C and subject to acknowledgement using the citation above. The briefing was produced with the help of a grant from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World Inc. The contents, selection and presentation of facts, as well as any opinions expressed, are the sole responsibility of the authors and under no circumstances shall be regarded as reflecting the positions of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World Inc.
Harm reduction is a range of pragmatic policies, regulations and actions which either reduce health risks by providing safer forms of products or substances or encourage less risky behaviours. Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR), using safer nicotine products (SNP), offers new choices to millions of people worldwide who want to switch away from smoking or other dangerous forms of tobacco use, but have been unable to with the options previously available.
Since 2018, the UK-based public health agency Knowledge-Action-Change (K•A•C) has produced two biennial reports examining progress in and barriers to tobacco harm reduction around the world:
Tobacco harm reduction, using safer nicotine products, offers new choices to millions of people worldwide who want to switch away from smoking or other dangerous forms of tobacco use
In addition, K•A•C publishes briefings such as this, driven by the key principles of the GSTHR project. The first, Tobacco Harm Reduction and the Right to Health, was published in January 2020 and can be read in 12 languages. All the GSTHR publications and translations can be downloaded at the GSTHR website, https://gsthr.org.
As well as hosting GSTHR publications and providing access to downloadable charts
and infographics, the GSTHR website allows users to search, compare and build
bespoke data visualisations using regularly updated smoking and tobacco harm
reduction statistics for more than 200 countries and territories.
Visit https://gsthr.org to find out more.
This briefing covers 15 Asian countries.
Data and information from some countries such as India, China, Japan, Thailand and the Philippines are covered in more depth, while data from others illustrate more general issues and contrasts.
A number of terms are used for THR products, including ‘reduced risk products’ and ‘electronic delivery systems’ (ENDS). This report uses the term safer nicotine products (SNP) as a collective expression for nicotine vaping devices, heated tobacco products (HTP) and safer oral nicotine products such as Swedish-style pasteurised snus and non-tobacco nicotine pouches.
Unless quoting from documents, we do not use the term ‘e-cigarettes’ to describe vaping devices. The term is misleading for health professionals, politicians and the wider public, as it closely associates these new products with cigarettes. However, vaping devices do not burn tobacco and do not emit toxic smoke which harm bystanders. Many modern vaping devices bear no physical resemblance to traditional cigarettes.