The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) is pleased to announce that it has joined forces with TobaccoHarmReduction.org (THRo).
“it is time for the tobacco control and scientific communities to embrace tobacco harm reduction as a strategy that will have a profoundly positive impact on public health”
THRo started as a project of the University of Alberta Department of Public Health Sciences and was for many years the world's largest research and public education organization devoted toTobacco harm reduction. Tobacco harm reduction is an approach that helps smokers by advocating for low-risk alternatives to smoking, such as smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes.CASAA is a grassroots, nonprofit organization that works to ensure the availability of reduced-harm alternatives to smoking and to provide truthful and accurate information about those alternatives so that people can make informed decisions.
As part of the merger of THRo with CASAA, the founder and director of THRo, Carl V. Phillips, PhD., joins the CASAA board of directors as the chief scientist and editor of the THRo unit. "After leaving the University of Alberta School of Public Health, we published some of our best work, but we were without institutional support," observed Dr. Phillips. "Working as part of CASAA will allow us the support necessary to update our core material and produce much more than we have been able to do for the last year."
Elaine Keller, the president of CASAA, noted that the merger is a perfect fit because THRo has been "the only scholarly group focusing on tobacco harm reduction that puts the consumer first, treating nicotine product users as rational people whose welfare matters."
As part of CASAA, THRo will continue to produce a website focused on consumer education about the science of tobacco harm reduction, scientific publications, and blog and social networking content. The organization's immediate goals include modernizing its website, updating its frequently asked questions pages, and some research publications that will be announced soon. Some of the scholarly and scientific analyses done by CASAA will be moved to the THRo unit, while the advocacy role played by THRo will be carried out by CASAA.
"Most members of the public, upon hearing that smokers can achieve basically the same health benefits from switching to smoke-free alternatives as they can from quitting entirely, immediately embrace the idea," observed Phillips. "Despite all efforts, the reality is that smoking cessation rates have stagnated, and it is time for the tobacco control and scientific communities to embrace tobacco harm reduction as a strategy that will have a profoundly positive impact on public health."
"Formally uniting our efforts will allow us to achieve so much more than we could have accomplished separately," noted Keller.