Tholos Foundation urges Bangladesh govt not to ban e-cigarettes
Washington DC-based Tholos Foundation submitted their official comments to Bangladesh Health Ministry, urging not to ban tobacco harm reduction products such as e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn products, oral nicotine pouches and other reduced-risk products.
A research and policy advocacy organization originally founded in 1985 at the request of President Reagan, the Tholos Foundation's submission expressed concern that the proposed ban of these products is not science-based. Said a press release.
“Bangladesh’s proposal to ban these products goes against all of the available science and data on reduced-risk nicotine products,” said Karl Abramson, Tholos’ Consumer Issues Fellow.
The submission highlights this evidence and encourages Bangladeshi officials to fully consider the consequences of the current proposal.
"With a national smoking rate of 34.7 (as of 2020), Bangladeshi citizens are in dire need of access to emerging technologies that allow for less harmful nicotine consumption," Abramson said in a press release on the submission.
“We know that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than smoking and an effective method of getting smokers to quit smoking or reduce their cigarette consumption. We know that heat-not-burn products (HNBs) are also significantly safer than smoking and have contributed to Japan’s 43% decrease in cigarette sales. To seek a ban on these products greatly reduces the chance that Bangladeshi smokers will be able to quit smoking,” he said.
The submission also draws attention to an analysis from Georgetown University that predicts 6.6 million American lives could be saved by vaping.
"Considering that the smoking rate in Bangladesh is nearly triple America’s, we made clear to Bangladeshi officials that millions of Bangladeshi lives depend on access to reduced-risk alternatives. Moving forward with this proposal would be a death sentence for current smokers in the country," the Tholos Foundation official warned.
Apart from Tholos Foundation, a group of 17 renowned international public health advocates along local traders and consumer groups have submitted their opinions to the Ministry of Health seeking sensible and risk-proportionate regulations for novel nicotine products instead of a complete ban on these reduced-risk products.