Smoking: new products and harm reduction. The impact of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco (2018)

The Eurispes Report “Smoking: new products and harm reduction”, surveyed the habits and opinions of smokers regarding smoking, its impact on health, and the development and diffusion of alternative products to traditional ones.

The world of tobacco is undergoing a profound transformation due to the development and marketing of new devices and technologies. Large multinational companies are increasingly investing in research to develop products other than traditional ones that are able, or potentially able, to reduce the harm caused by smoking, such as e-cigarettes and devices based on tobacco heating.

In Europe, in 2017, there were 9 million regular users of e-cigarettes, with over 500,000 smokers switching to heated smokeless tobacco. In 2016, the market value of new products reached €4 billion in total and is expected to continue to grow. Of these, 90% are e-cigarettes, 10% heated tobacco products.

What attitude is useful and correct to take in the face of a scenario that assumes a strong reduction in health damage through the use of new consumer technologies that do not involve combustion, and therefore the production of smoke and in some cases even the absorption of nicotine? Can e-cigarettes and heated tobacco be a real alternative capable of taking up a majority share of consolidated consumption, with health benefits? To what extent are the new technologies free from side effects? And to what extent can they be an effective tool in the fight against smoking?

The Report provides the first answers to these questions, analysing the legal, fiscal and scientific aspects that accompany the spread of new instruments (e-cigs and heated tobacco), as instruments capable of “transporting” interesting quotas of smokers to an area that is potentially less problematic in terms of health.

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