What are we campaigning for?

Sweden will soon be the first country to become smoke free, which global health advocates generally consider to be a smoking prevalence of 5% or less of the adult population. This makes Sweden the only European nation close to reaching the smoke free goal set by the EU, 17 years ahead of the 2040 target. This can be attributed to Sweden’s pragmatic, risk-based approach in the regulation of non-combustible, alternative nicotine products.

A vital aspect of tobacco harm reduction is to prevent disease and save lives by providing access to accurate information about the lower risks of reduced harm products, such as e-cigarettes, snus and oral nicotine pouches.

The best way to reduce the harm from smoking is to quit altogether. However, for smokers in Europe who are unable or unwilling to quit, switching to reduced-risk alternatives can be lifesaving. Despite this, many EU countries continue to ignore the lifesaving benefits of these products. Our campaign is seeking to highlight the benefits of alternative, reduced-risk products for smokers in the EU, using the Swedish model as an example.

Why are we campaigning for this?

We believe that smokers across Europe should have access to viable, non-combustible tobacco and nicotine alternatives with dramatically lower negative health effects compared to cigarettes.

The progressive, pro harm-reduction Swedish model is distinct from the policies proposed by international organisations in favour of tobacco control. At an EU level, harm reduction advocates have fought hard to have harm reduction recognised in the European Beating Cancer Plan.

The WHO has not yet acknowledged the benefits, despite the fact that harm reduction is explicitly recognised in the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control. We want to bring sound, evidence-based policy interventions into the debate surrounding tobacco control. This translates to the broad adoption of tobacco harm reduction policies that support a journey to quitting smoking. Ensuring that less harmful alternatives to smoking are affordable, acceptable and accessible will be paramount to ensure that other countries can replicate Sweden’s success.

Who are we?

Health Diplomats is a global network of experts, specialising in improving access to healthcare and harm reduction strategies. It is active in a range of sectors including pharmaceuticals, medical devices and harm reduction strategies in the alcohol, food and beverage, and nicotine industries.