Simon Chapman. Professor of Public Health, University of Sydney

Across more than 50 years, harm reduction in tobacco control has seen many hyped claims (filters- including the Micronite asbestos filter, reduced selected carcinogens, heat rods and especially the ‘lights and milds’ issue). All of these have proved to be fraudulent and/or market failures. As occurred with the harm reduction promises argued for lights and milds that began in the 1980s, ENDS are demonstrating rapid consumer acceptance, with most users motivated by beliefs that they are harm reducing and likely to assist in smoking cessation. In this presentation, I will consider future scenarios of both a public health utopia and dystopia that might result from widespread ENDS use.
I will in particular examine the propositions that ENDS and nicotine are likely to be almost benign; the evidence to date about the effectiveness of ENDS in smoking cessation; the proposition that reducing (rather than stopping) tobacco use is harm reducing; and the early evidence about youth uptake of smoking. I will argue that the exceptionalist rhetoric being used to argue that ENDS should be exempt from therapeutic regulation would be rejected for all other therapeutic substances claiming breakthrough status for other serious diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS.

Simon Chapman, AO, PhD, FASSA, Hon FFPH (UK), is Professor in Public Health at the University of Sydney. He has published 480 articles in peer reviewed journals and 19 books and major reports. His work has been cited over 8500 times. His Public Health Advocacy and Tobacco Control: Making Smoking History was published by Blackwell (Oxford) in 2007. In 1997 he won the World Health Organization’s World No Tobacco Day Medal and in 2003 he was awarded the American Cancer Society’s Luther Terry Award for outstanding individual leadership in tobacco control. In 2008 he won the NSW Premier’s Cancer Researcher of the Year medal; the Public Health Association of Australia’s Sidney Sax medal He was deputy editor (1992-1997) then editor (1998-2008) of the BMJ’s, Tobacco Control and is now editor emeritus. In 2013 he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia for his contributions to public health.