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Harm reduction is a public health strategy that is used to reduce or minimise the harm associated with a certain risky behaviour, without necessarily having to eliminate that behaviour. In smoking, people smoke for the nicotine but die from the tar. Here, tobacco harm reduction (THR) offers a solution, a “fire escape”, to smokers who are unwilling or unable to quit smoking. They now have a choice of switching to smoke-free, alternative nicotine products, all substantially less harmful than cigarettes.

Increasingly, THR science is validating how these products can play a central role in preventing tobacco-related disease and premature death. Moreover, it shows how quality of life is improved for smokers when they quit tobacco or switch to less harmful THR products.