Policy Documents

Helping Smokers Quit: The Science Behind Tobacco Harm Reduction

American Council on Science and Health –
December 1, 2011

In 2006, the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) became the first organization in the United States to formally endorse tobacco harm reduction (THR). ACSH based its position on a comprehensive review of the existing scientific and medical literature, which showed that smokeless tobacco use:

(a) is at least 98 percent safer than smoking, even though most Americans are misinformed about the differences in risk
(b) among Swedish men, is a major factor in extremely low smoking rates
(c) is not a gateway to smoking cigarettes

Over the past 5 years the scientific literature supporting THR has grown considerably, and ACSH decided to sponsor another comprehensive review. This publication summarizes the major findings of that review.