Why tobacco harm reduction?
South-East Asia is unique in terms of tobacco consumption with almost 80% of global users of smokeless tobacco (SLT) products live in the region. India represents a rare case with disproportionate numbers of tobacco use in the form of SLTs. These SLTs comprise a broad variety of different products such as gutka, khaini and pan masala, which are chewed, sniffed, or placed between the teeth and gums. In India in 2010, an estimated 368,127 deaths were attributable to the use of Indian SLTs. Hence, it is today’s need for minimizing the harm caused by Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents (HPHC) from Indian smokeless tobacco products.
What we intend to do?
We aim aims to provide empirical data and evidence to encourage new harm reduction tools and cessation techniques to reduce tobacco usage in India. To achieve this, we are conducting research on the characterization of HPHC in SLT products. The data generated through this research will be useful for regulators and product innovators; and will help create capacity for independent research in India. We strive to provide users with more options to choose from, thereby motivating them to move towards safer options, & reduced harm.
How are we impacting?
We are addressing the impact on public health due to the heavy consumption of Indian SLT products. Through our evidence-based approach, we want to enable clinicians, regulators, and researchers with valuable information for considering the potential health effects that may result from the use of Indian SLT products. This will act as a catalyst to evaluate other harm reduction efforts via cessation techniques or THR products like SNUS. We also aim at providing scientific data and information for future policy development to regulate SLT manufacturing in India.