Reschenthaler’s resolution supports reduced harm from tobacco products

U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) on Jan. 29 presented a resolution that would urge public health authorities and tobacco control advocates to encourage American innovation and harm reduction as part of a comprehensive United States approach to tobacco control.

“This common-sense resolution will help support tobacco harm reduction efforts, which will reduce the occurrence of smoking-related diseases among Americans and help alleviate preventable diseases in our public healthcare system,” Rep. Reschenthaler said on Monday.

The congressman sponsored House Resolution (H.Res.) 979, alongside fellow Tobacco Harm Reduction Caucus co-chair and bill cosponsor U.S. Rep. Don Davis (D-NC).  

“We must tap into American innovation to embrace tobacco products that will enhance the well-being of over 30 million smokers across our nation,” said Rep. Davis.

H.Res. 979 would urge the Food and Drug Administration to implement a coherent regulatory process that fully embraces “the promising science” that smoking causes most tobacco-related deaths and diseases, encourages American innovation in smoke-free alternatives proven to reduce harm, promotes a comprehensive approach to tobacco control that ensures science-based decision making, and prioritizes the authorization of less harmful smoke-free products as alternatives for adults who continue smoking, according to the text of the resolution.

The resolution also would call on public health authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to educate adult consumers and healthcare professionals about harm reduction and begin educational campaigns to improve adult consumers’ understanding of nicotine and available alternative products, says the text.

Additionally, the resolution would ask that the U.S. Secretary of State and the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services engage the World Health Organization to promote a comprehensive approach to tobacco control, and recognition of harm reduction as a key pillar of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control for combating non-communicable disease associated with cigarette smoking around the world, the text states.

 “I urge my colleagues to support this critical resolution,” said Rep. Reschenthaler.