Universal Harm Reduction Principles Applied To Nicotine Use, Why Not?
Around 80% of illegal substance users are also nicotine users. A similar prevalence is found in people living with alcohol use disorder and, to a lesser extent, people with problematic prescription drug use. Most of them get their nicotine through the most dangerous way: cigarette smoke. Many, if not most, cannabis users smoke it mixed with tobacco. The long term detrimental health effects of inhaling smoke have been proven since decades. But the classic tobacco control measures are difficult to apply in a population of people who use drugs, who are often facing many other challenges. These measures have therefore been set aside by frontline harm reduction workers.
Nowadays, the rapid development of low risk alternatives to smoking opens the doors for a much better integration of nicotine use in harm reduction interventions. Unfortunately, the integration process is slowed down by a lack of knowledge on nicotine within health practitioners, the general public and even people who smoke.
This workshop, run by nicotine users experts from INNCO, aims to provide clear information on safer nicotine use and how to practically help nicotine users with newly available tools in the European regulatory context. It also aims to explore the similarities and disparities between nicotine and other substances interventions in light of current and future challenges in the global harm reduction field.