The most obvious and simplest solution for smokers to protect their health is to quit smoking immediately but as we see, while many smokers struggle against their habit only to relapse, many smokers simply continue to smoke. In this situation, instead of leaving these smokers behind who would otherwise continue to smoke, the realistic approachshould be to identify how to reduce their burden of health risks. The answer lies in the scientifically substantiated, smoke-free technologies that are slowly but surely, proving to be an effective tool in reducing cigarette-related harm. 

The smoke-free products work on the basic principle of eliminating combustion. When a cigarette is lit, it burns tobacco to produce smoke which is severely toxic. The smoke-free alternatives on the other hand prevent burning of tobacco and thus eliminates smoke and the consequent toxic chemicals from being released. There are a wide range of products in the smoke-free category with more innovate technologies being produced to help smokers as much as possible. Some of the products in this category are e-cigarettes or vapes that do not contain tobacco and instead burn the flavoured e-liquid. Heated tobacco products (HTPs) are another excellent technology in the category of smoke-free products which are based on heat-not-burn principle. The products heat the tobacco instead of burning it while giving smokers more or less the same experience as smoking a cigarette but with considerably lower levels of harm. Other products such as snuff or oral nicotine pouches also prevent the smoker from inhaling toxic cigarette smoke. While these products may not be risk-free, they are scientifically proven to minimize tobacco related harm for smokers and reduce risks of diseases attributed to cigarettes.

As more innovative products are being made to reduce tobacco harm for smokers, growing numbers of scientists, public health experts and governments are acknowledging the role smoke-free alternatives can play in addressing the global public health issue of smoking. The effectiveness of these products can also be seen in Japan as well where cigarette sales dropped five-times faster after the introduction of heated tobacco products in the country.  Countries like, the UK, New Zealand and several others have also adopted smoke-free products as part of their public health strategy to reduce tobacco harm and have regulated them accordingly.

The example of these countries which understood the comparative health benefits of smoke-free alternatives, respected the preferences of smokers, and prioritized better public health outcomes, are reaping the benefits by showing flexibility and open-mindedness towards the scientifically backed, innovative solutions that are being produced for reducing harm for smokers. If more countries adopt such policies, it might result in substantial reduction in harm caused by smoking for smokers globally.