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2018 outlook Fight against addictions requires ‘new approach’

Man smoking electronic cigarette

While the range of tobacco-related products has grown in recent years, their impact on public health is still little known

(ostancoff/123RF)

The authorities must carry out more research to better understand the addictive risks of new products such as electronic cigarettes and legal cannabis, and impose a new legal framework, the non-governmental organization Addiction Switzerland says.

In its latest “Swiss Panorama of Addictions 2018external link” report published on Tuesday, the NGO called for a ‘new approach’ to cope with the growing offer of psychoactive substances and public demand for new products, which are "shaking up the field of addictions”.

“Numerous consumers want to experiment with new products with as few risks as possible, while manufacturers and firms are looking to make as much profit as they can while rejecting state regulation,” the NGO said. 

+ a look at the growth of “cannabis light” or “CBD cannabis” in Switzerland

Addiction Switzerland spokesperson Corine Kibora told swissinfo.ch that more resources must be invested in research to understand the risks of potentially addictive new substances available on the market. 

“The only data we have on heat-not-burn tobacco products, for example, comes from the industry itself. We must therefore question their reliability. Secondly, a legal framework must be put in place to deal with new products. Unfortunately, the new tobacco bill, which was put out for consultation last December, has been watered down, particularly with regard to advertising and marketing restrictions,” declared Kibora. 

SDA-ATS/sb/Katy Romy

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