On June 6, Andr é Jacobs, spokesman of the Czech Ministry of health, said that the Czech Republic would abandon the “abstinence policy” implemented over the years and instead take the EU tobacco harm reduction policy as a part of its future public health strategy. Among them, e-cigarettes are an important part of the strategy and will be recommended to smokers who are difficult to quit smoking.

Photo note: the spokesman of the Czech Ministry of Health announced that the tobacco hazard reduction policy will be part of the future public health strategy.

Previously, the Czech Republic has formulated a national strategy of “preventing and reducing addictive behavior damage from 2019 to 2027″, which is directly managed by the supreme government office. During this period, the Czech Republic adopted the strategy of “banning tobacco, alcohol and other addictive behaviors to the end”: it pursued “asceticism” through various laws and regulations, hoping to achieve a complete smoke-free society in the future.

However, the result is not ideal. Czech experts in the field of Medicine said: “many countries and governments claim to achieve a nicotine free and smoke-free society in the coming year. The Czech Republic has set similar indicators before, but this is unrealistic. The number of smokers has not decreased at all. So we need to take a new path.”

Therefore, in the past two years, the Czech Republic turned to the implementation of the harm reduction strategy, and obtained the support of the Czech Health Minister Vladimir vallek. Under this framework, tobacco substitutes represented by e-cigarettes have attracted much attention.

Considering the potential impact of e-cigarettes on youth groups, the Czech government is also considering more specific e-cigarettes regulatory measures. Jacob especially proposed that the future electronic cigarette products should not only cover up the unpleasant taste, but also abide by the principle of reducing harm and restrict the use of minors.

Note: Vladimir vallek, Czech Minister of health

Walek also believes that the policy of promoting everyone to quit smoking is an extreme and hypocritical way. The solution to the addiction problem can not rely on excessive restrictions, “let everything go back to zero”, nor let smokers who are addicted to smoking fall into a helpless situation. The best way should be to eliminate the risks as much as possible and reduce the negative impact on young people. Therefore, it is the most reasonable way to recommend smokers to use harm reducing products such as electronic cigarettes.

Relevant people from the Czech government pointed out that the relevant data from the UK and Sweden show that the harm of e-cigarettes is beyond doubt. The promotion of e-cigarettes and other tobacco substitutes can significantly reduce the incidence rate of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases caused by smoking. However, with the exception of the governments of Sweden and the United Kingdom, few other countries have adopted the same policies to reduce public health risks. Instead, they are still promoting the idea of achieving complete smoke-free within a few years, which is completely unrealistic.

Photo note: the Czech National Drug Control Coordinator and drug expert said that it is unrealistic to adopt asceticism to control smoking.

It is said that on the agenda of the Czech presidency of the European Council, the Czech Ministry of health plans to take the harm reduction policy as the main publicity item. This means that the Czech Republic may become the largest advocate of the EU’s harm reduction policy, which will have a profound impact on the EU’s health policy direction in the next few years, and the harm reduction concept and policy will also be promoted on the larger international stage.

Post time: Jun-12-2022