Smoking happens to be one of the leading causes of preventable deaths worldwide and several harm reduction strategies along with useful smoking policies have been put in place to prevent the high number of deaths by offering smokers less harmful alternatives.
Over the past decade, several countries have decided to go smoke-free as a part of their public health goals. Tobacco, when burned, releases nicotine and smoke along with thousands of other toxic chemicals that are harmful to the body and the environment.
There has been a reform of tobacco control policies, with a focus on achieving smoke-free societies through the use of less harmful cigarette alternatives in countries that include the Philippines, Japan, the US, the UK, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland among others.
Pakistan too is well on its way to regulating HTPs in the country. Recently, an SRO to legalize HTPs was put forward by the Ministry of Health and approved by the Federal Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC).
Given that more than 20% of the country’s population smokes, it is necessary for Pakistan to take a science-backed approach in formulating national smoking policies that have proven to bring down the number of smokers in various countries where it’s being implemented.