Cigarette alternatives are the cautious optimism Pakistan needs

KARACHI-Anti-cigarette policies can be effective in limiting the use of cigarettes to some extent, but they may not be enough on their own.That is due to the fact that most people who pick up cigarettes, are not able to or choose not to put them back down. However, recent studies have highlighted an important observation from countries where smokers in large quantities are succeeding in their attempts at letting go of cigarettes. 

When the Philippines introduced alternatives like vapes in the country accompanied with the awareness that smoke-free alternatives are a helpful step towards leaving smoking behind and smokers should use them as less harmful alternatives. The country’s smoking rate dropped to 22.9% in 2020, compared to 25.4% in 2010. 

Today, a number of less harmful alternatives have been developed with the intention of cutting out harmful processes such as the burning of tobacco, thus reducing the risk of developing smoking related diseases, while providing the same experience to the consumer. One such example can be observed in Greece, where cigarette alternatives contribute approximately 65% of the country’s net income. This is generated by an estimated 450,000 consumers of smoke-free products, and stands testament to the opportunity in innovation.

Greece’s entire cigarette industry went through major changes in their operations and working practices to come up with better, more suitable products for society, and it paid off. The change was embraced not just by adult consumers, but also by an increasing number of general public and health authorities worldwide. 

After 25 years of the United Nations calling for a reduction in the toxicity of smoke from burning tobacco, innovations have made it possible to create better alternatives. Pakistan’s smoking population is estimated to have exceeded 30 million, making it a crucial moment to seize these alternatives and gain an advantage over cigarettes. 

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