General Article Has the UK’s anti-smoking efforts reached its peak?

Topic Selected: Smoking and Health

There are still 9.1 million smokers in the UK. Banning, taxation and health education have their limits. Should we take another approach?

By Mark Baker

When is a cigarette company not a cigarette company? When it stops selling cigarettes, and starts selling nicotine. Many people mistakenly view the two as the same thing, they are not. The overwhelming harm from smoking comes from the cocktail of more than 4,000 chemicals released from the combustion of tobacco, many of which are poisonous, and more than 70 of which may cause cancer. While nicotine is an addictive drug, a 2016 Royal College of Physicians (RCP) report found “nicotine alone in the doses used by smokers represents little if any hazard to the user”. It is the tobacco smoke not the nicotine that does the damage...

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