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Harm Reduction 101

An Introduction

Harm reduction is about life. Improving life. Protecting life.

You already know about harm reduction through your use of seat belts, sunscreen, designated drivers, and helmets. Learn more below about how harm reduction has helped with HIV/AIDS, alcohol, and other health issues, and how it can help reduce the death and disease from cigarettes for a billion of our neighbors worldwide.


The World Health Organization projects that a billion of our neighbors and loved ones will die this century from smoking-related illness.

Around the world, more people die each year from smoking cigarettes than HIV/AIDS, alcohol, drug overdoses, and car accidents combined.

Leading scholars have identified an opportunity to fix this. It’s called Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR).

Estimated Annual Deaths Worldwide

  • Drug Overdose: 585,000 5.9% 5.9%
  • HIV/AIDS: 770,000 7.7% 7.7%
  • Car Crashes: 1,350,000 13.5% 13.5%
  • Alcohol: 3,000,000 30% 30%
  • Cigarette Smoking: 7,000,000 70% 70%


At it’s core, Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) is medical providers informing their patients about the relative risks of dramatically safer ways to take nicotine compared to smoking cigarettes. These scientifically proven safer nicotine delivery systems include nicotine vapor technologies, Swedish snus, and other safer nicotine products.

In this video, world-renowned experts from the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (UK) share the science behind THR.

Significant REDUCTION in Harm

Compared to seat belt and bicycle helmet harm reduction strategies, nicotine vapor products offer a significant reduction in harm compared to smoking cigarettes. The estimated risk of Swedish snus is even lower.

In this video, Kellie Ann Forbes BScN from the Vaping Advocacy and Education Project (Canada) discusses relative safety risks of various harm reduction products.

Stay Informed


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