Tobacco Harm-Reduction Products Get Mixed Reviews

Evaluation of the tobacco harm reduction movement and its implications for nicotine addiction and public health
    • November 28, 2005

From March 2002 through August 2004, Kenneth E. Warner, PhD, and a team of researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health analyzed the knowledge and opinions of grassroots tobacco control activists and tobacco researchers and scientists regarding tobacco harm reduction—the proliferation of new products created by tobacco and pharmaceutical companies aimed at reducing the harm that smoking tobacco causes.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) national Substance Abuse Policy Research Program (SAPRP).

Key Findings

  • About one-third of grassroots activists were not aware of tobacco harm reduction and most who were aware of the concept believed that tobacco harm reduction products would have adverse health effects.
  • Scientists and researchers were more aware and more supportive of tobacco harm-reduction products than were activists.
  • Both activists and scientists believed that tobacco harm-reduction products should be regulated.