Smoking: harm reduction

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence


  • This Guidelines summary includes recommendations 2–8. Please refer to the full guideline for the complete list of recommendations

Harm reduction approaches covered by the guidance

  • Stopping smoking, but using one or more licensed nicotine containing products as long as needed to prevent relapse
  • Cutting down prior to stopping smoking (cutting down to quit):
    • with the help of one or more licensed nicotine-containing products (the products may be used as long as needed to prevent relapse)
    • without using licensed nicotine-containing products
  • Smoking reduction:
    • with the help of one or more licensed nicotine-containing products (the products may be used as long as needed to prevent relapse)
    • without using licensed nicotine-containing products
  • Temporary abstinence from smoking:
    • with the help of one or more licensed nicotine-containing products
    • without using licensed nicotine-containing products
  • The approaches covered by this guidance are aimed at people who:
    • may not be able (or do not want) to stop smoking in one step
    • may want to stop smoking, without necessarily giving up nicotine
    • may not be ready to stop smoking, but want to reduce the amount they smoke

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