Victoria, BC – Today BC’s Health Minister announced that nicotine pouches will no longer be legally sold at convenience stores in the province. The Consumer Choice Center’s Toronto based North American Affairs Manager David Clement responded “Removing a tool for smokers to quit, from the place they buy cigarettes, is a huge step backwards. It’s nothing more than harm reduction hypocrisy”.
“For a province that has fully embraced harm reduction, the move flies in the face of other harm reduction campaigns. It is counterproductive to remove nicotine pouches from convenience stores, where smokers buy cigarettes. Having lower risk products sold alongside cigarettes acts as a reminder that there are useful tools to help smokers quit smoking entirely, ” said Clement.
“And these nicotine pouches are significantly less risky than smoking. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) published a comprehensive review on nicotine pouches, and the results are pretty eye opening. On a harm scale, with 100 representing the risk from smoking, and 0 representing not consuming any product with nicotine, the BfR gave nicotine pouches a score of 1,” said Clement
“Having cigarettes sold at convenience stores, and removing reduced risk pouches, is a wild departure from the principles of harm reduction that should be reversed.” said Clement.