Policy interventions to reduce the harm from smoking


  • Peter Anderson,

  • John R. Hughes


The other papers in this series on reduced smoking discuss interventions focused on individuals. This paper illustrates possible smoking reduction interventions focused on policies rather than individuals. Target 12 of the new WHO Health For All Policy aims to significantly reduce the harm from addictive substances, including tobacco, in all member states by 2015, and the WHO Third Action Plan for Tobacco-Free Europe focuses on reducing the harm from tobacco. These documents recommend five key policy strategies: market regulation, product liability, smoke-free environments, support for smoking cessation and education, public information and public opinion. Interventions such as price increases, restricting availability, advertising bans and product control could all be used to achieve harm reduction. Research on reducing the harm of smoking needs to include policy as well as treatment research.