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Article | The long-term supply of tobacco and nicotine: Some goals, principles and policy implications

In this article recently published in the international journal, Tobacco Control, University of Otago researchers argue that tobacco and nicotine products should not be treated as normal consumer products, because of their addictive and hazardous nature.

This article suggests three goals and eight principles that could underpin regulatory approaches to the supply of tobacco and non-prescription nicotine products.

The primary principles are that:

  • tobacco and nicotine products should not be seen as normal consumer products,
  • should not be supplied for profit, and
  • that the tax revenue from the supply of the products should first be used to reduce tobacco and nicotine use.

Lead author Associate Professor George Thomson from the University of Otago, Wellington, says that while nicotine products, such as those used in vaping, are less harmful than tobacco, both are addictive.

“All tobacco and nicotine products need to have the profit motive removed from throughout their supply chain as soon as possible.”

Governments worldwide need to create non-profit supply systems for tobacco and nicotine products because of their potential to cause significant and avoidable harm.


Thomson GW, Hoek J, Marsh L. 2019. The long-term supply of tobacco and nicotine: Some goals, principles and policy implications. Tobacco Control. E-Publication ahead of print. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2019-055132
(Open access)

For further information contact:
Associate Professor George Thomson
Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington

Dr Louise Marsh
Senior Research Fellow
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
University of Otago (Dunedin)
Tel 03 479 7209

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