The concept of harm reduction is acknowledging that you cannot ban everything that poses health risks and that if you cannot get people to stop doing things that have safety risks, public health has an obligation to encourage the use of alternative products that significantly reduce risk.
Helmet laws have been shown to reduce the risk of head injury by 15% - 45% and public health enthusiastically promotes helmet use, rather than recommend parents keep their children off of bicycles altogether. Yet when it comes to parents who smoke, public health officials refuse to consider nicotine alternatives that would reduce smoking-related health risks by over 99% as acceptable risk. Does this really make sense?
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