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Members of Congress can help save lives by joining the newly formed Tobacco Harm Reduction Caucus. In the interest of consumers, and to promote public health, Americans for Tax Reform calls on all elected officials to join the caucus and commends representatives Reschenthaler (R-PA) and Davis (D-NC) for starting the THR caucus. 

After creating the group, both representatives sent out a letter urging their colleagues in the house and senate to join the caucus and raise public awareness on tobacco harm reduction. In the letter, representatives Reschenthaler and Davis call on fellow officeholders to join the Tobacco Harm Reduction Caucus as it will “provide a forum to address all facets” of this issue as it pertains to public health. This includes the issues of underage usage, informing the public, flavor regulation, and others. The caucus will also serve as a place to discuss potential solutions and the best ways to promote them through public policy. Top among the goals of the caucus is to reduce cigarette consumption and its adverse effects at a national level. Chiefly by promoting alternatives to combustible cigarettes and making the public more aware of adverse health effects. 

Cigarettes have been known to have harmful side effects for many decades, with 127,000 Americans dying from lung cancer every year according to the American Cancer Society. In addition to this, due to the addictive nature of cigarettes, many smokers struggle to quit, with fewer than 8% of adult smokers successfully quitting within a given year according to a CDC study.  

Safer alternatives do exist, such as vaping, which has been scientifically proven to be 95% less dangerous than combustible cigarettes. If the public was more aware of the scientific consensus, there is a good chance that many would make the switch and be healthier for it. 

Lastly, there are more than 20 million adult vapers in the US. Data shows that more than 2/3 of vapers are likely to vote for candidates who they agree with on vaping policy. This means that supporting harm reduction policies is not only good for the American public, but politically prudent. With bipartisan support, both republican and democratic members and their constituents stand to gain from the formation of this caucus. With the potential to help millions of consumers, it is a moral imperative that all officeholders support this effort. 

You can read more about the caucus here