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The Union has today published its official position statement on the new generation of tobacco products – heat-not-burn (HNB) – which are now being aggressively marketed by the tobacco industry as ‘lower risk’ products.

“Our goal here is to cut through the noise around HNB tobacco products and provide some straight forward and objective recommendations for those responsible for developing policies to protect and promote public health,” said Dr Gan Quan, Director of The Union’s Department of Tobacco Control. “Our key message for countries in the process of developing legislation on HNB, is that there is no long-term scientific evidence on the health impact of these tobacco products. Until there is legitimate and objective research on health impact, it is our responsibility to strongly advise governments to apply the precautionary principle here.”

“We frame our recommendations within the decades-long historical context of tobacco industry operations around ‘reduced harm’ tobacco products. Much of the so-called research that exists on HNB at present is funded by the tobacco industry – as before, these companies are using this ‘research’ to promote their vested interests. We cannot allow history to repeat itself here.”

The Union’s position paper was developed by experts within its Department of Tobacco Control. Throughout its almost 100 year-existence The Union’s sole objective has been to protect and promote lung health. All its work is based on scientific evidence.

HNB products function by heating sticks made of compressed tobacco and other chemicals to a high enough temperature to generate an inhalable aerosol that contains nicotine along with many other chemicals. They differ from e-cigarettes which create a nicotine aerosol by heating a liquid.

You can read The Union’s position statement in full here.



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The Tobacco Control Department is based at The Union Europe Office, Edinburgh, registered charity no. SC039880
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