Burden of proof falls on tobacco firms

I applaud the Government's move to "de-normalise" the use of tobacco products over time (Parliament: Minimum age to buy, use and sell tobacco products to be raised; ST Online, Nov 7)

The Government has been a trailblazer in coming up with imaginative and effective ways to get people to quit using tobacco.

Yet, people continue to smoke despite knowing the consequences to their personal health and the damage they may cause others.

I was encouraged by Parliamentary Secretary for Health Amrin Amin, who said that imitation tobacco products - such as e-cigarettes, e-cigars and e-pipes - have to undergo the same stringent checks as replacement therapies in the market, such as nicotine inhalers, gum and patches.

This challenges tobacco companies to come up with solid evidence that the imitative products that they have been trying to promote are truly less harmful as claimed.

We should force the tobacco companies into producing evidence that their new products are part of the solution to smoking.

Tang Li

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 14, 2017, with the headline 'Burden of proof falls on tobacco firms'. Print Edition | Subscribe