Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New study demonstrates that Men in Sweden have the lowest level of smoking in the Western world

Bangkok, Wednesday April 22, 2009-- Men in Sweden have the lowest level of smoking in the Western world, thanks to the substitution of low-risk smokeless tobacco, researchers have told the Harm Reduction 2009 conference.

"The anti-harm-reduction activists who dominate the discourse about tobacco have tried numerous tactics to deny that tobacco harm reduction has been effective in Sweden,” said Lisa Cockburn of the University of Lapland and a co-author of the study. “Our research makes specific statistical comparisons that clearly show the benefits Swedish men have experienced by switching from smoking to smokeless tobacco.”

Evidence from epidemiology clearly shows that switching to Western smokeless tobacco (ST) offers a huge health benefit to smokers. Studies of the nicotine delivery and other aspects of consumer appeal suggests that many smokers might be willing to make the switch. Swedish men have extremely low rates of the deadly diseases that are caused by smoking, and show no increase in any disease that might have been caused by smokeless tobacco use.

"It is difficult to imagine a more impressive harm reduction success for any substance use behaviour. No such evidence exists to suggest that any other method will work at the population level,” concluded Cockburn.

Highlights of Harm Reduction 2009 Day 3:

Parliamentary Panel Discussion: The Decriminalisation of Drug Use

Organised by the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) and supported by UNAIDS


Dr. Pinit Kullavanijaya
Senator, Thailand (Member of Health and SportCommittee and Secretary General of AFPPD)

Dr. Laode Ida
MP, Deputy Speaker of the Upper House, Indonesia

Dr. Tien Nguyen
Vice-Chair, Committee on Social Affairs of NationalAssembly of Vietnam

Hon. Dr. Ouk Damry
MP, Cambodia

Dr. Donya Aziz
Chair of HIV/AIDS Parliamentary Committee, Pakistan

About the International Harm Reduction Association:

The International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA) is the leading organisation promoting a harm reduction approach to all psychoactive substances on a global basis. IHRA exists to prevent the negative social, health, economic and criminal impacts of illicit drugs, alcohol and tobacco for individuals, communities and society.

About the conference:

Harm Reduction 2009 is expected to attract some 1000 delegates from around 80 countries. The event has become the focal point for knowledge sharing, networking and promoting evidence-based best practice in the field20of harm reduction. The delegates include front line workers, researchers, policy makers, politicians, people from international organisations, people who use drugs and people working in criminal justice. These events have helped to put harm reduction on the map and to coordinate advances, innovations, evidence and advocacy in this field for the last two decades.

Where: Imperial Queen's Park Hotel, 199 Sukhumvit Soi 22, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

When: Monday April 20 - Thursday April 23, 2009

Further information:

In Bangkok:
Michael Kessler, Harm Reduction 2009 Media Relations
Mobile +66 (0) 845 311 327
Skype: mickgpi

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