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Why tobacco product regulation is no magic bullet
  1. Deborah Arnott
  1. Correspondence to Deborah Arnott, Action on Smoking and Health, London EC1N 8JY, UK; deborah.arnott{at}

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Alas, Collishaw’s interesting proposal1 has fatal flaws. As he admits, it effectively bans combustible cigarettes, with ‘heat not burn’ the standard to meet. Any government implementing such a draconian measure could only justify it on the basis of risk reduction, which would have to be communicated. Yet his proposal doesn’t say anything about that issue, apart from saying that ‘whether they are meaningfully less harmful than conventional cigarettes is not established’.

The assumption appears to be that, if cigarettes are banned, smokers would either quit or switch to non-combustible alternative nicotine products such as medicinally licensed nicotine, e-cigarettes or heated tobacco products like IQOS. Unsurprisingly as this assumption is not made explicit, no evidence is given to back …

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  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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