Social and Economic Impact of Less Harmful Alternatives in Pakistan

Less harmful alternatives, such as nicotine pouches, heated tobacco products and vaping devices, have become popular worldwide as an alternative to cigarettes. The reason for so many governments around the world supporting smokers switching from cigarettes to alternatives is because these products have been proven by science to be less harmful than continued smoking. In Pakistan, where smoking rates remain high, less harmful alternatives have the potential to address social and economic disparities by promoting less hazardous consumption.

Here are some of the key ways that such products can address social and economic disparities in Pakistan:

Damage limitation: nicotine delivering devices offer a less harmful alternative to cigarettes as they remove the aspect of burning which is the major reason behind the development of smoking related diseases. This can be particularly important in developing countries like Pakistan where the consequences of smoking can be devastating for individuals and their families. By providing a less harmful alternative, they can promote a better quality of life.

Education and awareness: The availability of less harmful alternatives can provide an opportunity for education and awareness campaigns. These campaigns can help to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking and promote better lifestyles. They can also provide information about the potential benefits of these products as a less harmful alternative to cigarettes.

In Pakistan, there is a potential to reduce environmental impact through the use of less harmful alternatives like e-cigarettes, vapes, nicotine pouches, snus, and heated tobacco products. With a balanced approach to regulation and education, the benefits of these products can be maximised to their full potential, while also creating new economic opportunities.


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