Risk in Public Policy Making: Evaluating the Use & Misuse
Harm reduction for smoking replaces what it is that a smoker always craves, which physiologically and to a lesser extent psychologically is nicotine. The smoke is what is dangerous about cigarettes. If you take the smoke away, you are left with the tobacco. I don’t think people quite appreciate that tobacco itself is not the harmful substance here. The nicotine in the tobacco is the addictive substance, so that could be problematic certainly, because it compels the smoker to continue to use cigarettes, but it is the smoke, with its hundreds or thousands of chemicals, that contains the toxic components; it is the smoke that causes cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, and em-physema.