Policymakers must recognise that smoking and vaping are substitutes

My response to the Spanish government’s request for comments on its proposed tobacco control and anti-vaping measures. See my response here.

I highlight ten benefits from the interaction between smoking and vaping.

  1. Better health and welfare for adult smokers who switch from cigarettes to vaping, including pregnant women.
  2. Avoided harmful consequences for adult vapers who do not relapse to smoking.
  3. Avoided harmful consequences for young people diverted from smoking initiation to vaping instead.
  4. The value of the option for young smokers today to switch to vaping before they are 40 and thereby avoid almost all the serious risks of smoking, which generally take many decades to accumulate.
  5. The use of vaping in a staged quit process, going from smoking to vaping to address the main health risks and then from vaping to abstinence to eliminate the nicotine, if they choose to.
  6. Reaching so-called “accidental quitters” – people who had no intention to stop smoking but gradually migrated to vaping.
  7. The greatly reduced toxic exposure to bystanders from “secondhand” emissions, including children at home and in vehicles.
  8. Familial benefits arising from parents or caregivers who live longer are more productive and draw less on the household budget.
  9. The loss of an inter-generational role-modelling effect arising from less smoking in families and denormalisation of smoking in society more generally.
  10. Reduced pressure on healthcare budgets and scarce healthcare resources.

See also other responses, notably from ETHRA, Konstantinos Farsalinos and the Taxpayers’ Protection Alliance

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