How tobacco harm reduction pragmatism has opened up opportunities for smokers facing severe disadvantage

Time: 15:50 - 16:05

The UK has both a strong history of embracing drug harm reduction approaches and regulatory tobacco control. This environment has created opportunities to help people who smoke who are facing severe and multiple disadvantage, through clinical or research initiatives. It has also provided a scientific environment in which researchers can explore the potential of harm reduction methods to reduce smoking and produce important scientific advances. This talk will highlight how the broader drug harm reduction backdrop has enabled THR to be understood, investigated and importantly, not feared. This talk will also highlight with key examples, how the THR environment in the UK has facilitated support for people who smoke, including those usually left behind main stream services, for example, people who use and inject drugs and people who experience homelessness. Lastly, as a researcher working in this field, this talk will highlight my own perspectives on how we are able to operate in the THR field, what factors have enabled this work to happen and flourish but also what more needs to be done.


  • Dr Sharon Cox Senior Research Fellow - University College London

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