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Citizens Council reports

Citizens Council report: smoking and harm reduction

In October 2009, NICE's Citizens Council met for three days to discuss smoking and harm reduction and to provide a report for NICE. The Council's report of their meeting is available below.

The term ‘harm reduction' can have different meanings for different people. For some, it may mean reducing the harm associated with a behaviour, but not stopping the behaviour completely. So considering smoking in this way, the aim might be to reduce the harm associated with smoking cigarettes for people who cannot quit. This may include replacing cigarettes with a clean form of nicotine, or with cigarettes which intend to deliver lower levels of toxins. In this scenario, nicotine continues to be provided through a less harmful method than by standard smoking. This is what public health professionals usually understand by the term ‘harm reduction.'

However, others may see harm reduction as a way of minimising the harmful effect, with a view to helping the individual to stop the behaviour. In this case, it would mean to helping someone to quit smoking completely (for example by initially replacing cigarettes with a clean form of nicotine), and end the cycle of addiction.

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Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.