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A Public Health Approach to Harm Reduction When Treating Tobacco Use Disorder

IHR TAPE Project’s Food for Thought

Harm reduction is a proven public health strategy when combatting addiction, but this term has been the subject of debate when referencing tobacco and nicotine products.

August 2, 2022



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This training will discuss the importance of a public health framework when utilizing harm reduction strategies to treat tobacco use disorder. From false narratives that suggested addressing smoking in substance use or behavioral health treatment might cause additional harm to clients to the contentious debates on whether e-cigarettes could be part of a harm reduction strategy, this topic has a long history in our field. Together, we will explore myths the tobacco industry has used to propel their own idea of harm reduction as a way to expand their user base rather than improve public health. Attendees will come away from this training with an understanding of what types of harm reduction strategies can help the people we serve, and the importance of meeting individuals where they are.