Speaker Interview with Chris Snowdon

You're going to be presenting on “The alternative smoke-free plan” please could you please give us a quick overview of what you will be sharing with the audience?

Various governments, including the European Union, are setting targets for bringing the smoking rate below five per cent. These do not look achievable using the traditional tax-and-ban approach of tobacco control. Any realistic attempt to meet these targets will require meeting smokers where they are and giving them the option of switching to reduced-risk nicotine products. These options are available but their uptake has been hindered by excessive regulation and misinformation. I will be discussing some simple, low-cost measures governments can take to give smokers accurate information about reduced-risk nicotine products and create a regulatory environment which will help millions of people quit smoking.

Why is it so important for the industry to correct the misinformation about vaping?

Baseless scare stories have probably done more to deter smokers from switching to e-cigarettes than anything in recent years. Some of them have come from anti-vaping academics and some have come from government agencies. It is important for everybody to challenge this misinformation, including the industry, but the industry can only do so much. Academics and agencies, including the WHO, must be more honest.

Are there any topics you're most interested in hearing from at the conference this year?

I’m looking forward to hearing Marina Murphy talking about nicotine, a much misunderstood substance.

Why do you feel it is important for people to attend ENDS Europe this year?

With the EU moving towards another Tobacco Products Directive, tobacco harm reduction is facing yet another challenge. There are several sessions that are relevant to that.