Titled ‘The Khan review: Making smoking obsolete’ was an independent review of the UK government’s 2030 smoke-free policies, the report encourages the use of vapes for smoking cessation. “It is great that the UK seems to keep supporting vaping to help smokers quit despite the unfounded attacks in other parts of the world. Vaping is proven to be one of the most successful smoking cessation methods. The UK is the beacon of hope for smokers who want to quit, and other governments should follow their lead,” said Michael Landl, Director of the global vaping advocacy group World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA).
Released earlier this month, the report also recommends raising the tobacco age limit from 18 by one year each year, so that within a number of decades nobody would be able to purchase the products in the UK.
Malaysia’s proposed ban
Taking a different approach but aiming for the same goal, earlier this year, Malaysia’s health minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced a ban on the sales of cigarettes and safer nicotine alternative products to anyone born in 2005 or beyond. The plan was released at the 150th session of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) executive board meeting where Jamaluddin said the hope is that the legislation is finalized this year and that it would bring about a “generation endgame to smoking.”
Renowned international public health experts wrote to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob warning him that such a measure would eventually just create a large black market and just fuel the illicit trade of the products.
Prohibitionist approaches do not work
In the letter, academics and tobacco harm reduction experts David Abrams, Clive Bates, Ray Niaura and David Sweanor, said that prohibitionist approaches may have unintended consequences. “We hope the government will consider the limitations and likely unintended consequences of prohibition measures. We hope ministers will consider the alternative approach of risk-proportionate regulation based on MPOWER and tobacco harm reduction.”