“Nicotine Hunger”—UK Harm Reductionist’s Inspiring Work Protecting Vulnerable People’s Health

March 29, 2019

Louise Ross is a leader in tobacco harm reduction in the UK, where millions of people have successfully switched from combustible cigarettes to vaping to protect their health. She was the manager of the Leicester Stop Smoking Service for 14 years, and helped thousands of people quit smoking. The service was the first in the country to embrace harm reduction in the form of e-cigarettes, back in 2014.

Ross’s work often focuses on vulnerable groups of smokers, including people from low-income communities, people who are homeless and people with mental health issues. She is a pioneer in bringing vaping products into a mental health hospital in her community.

In the original Filter video above, Ross discusses the intersection of smoking and mental health, and successes in introducing vaping to marginalized populations of smokers. She also offers some free—and much-needed—advice to Americans on vaping.

Helen Redmond

Helen is the senior editor of Filter. She has written about nicotine, mental health and drug policy for publications including Al Jazeera, AlterNet, Harper’s and The Influence. As an LCSW, she works with drug users in medical and community mental health settings. An expert on tobacco harm reduction, she provides training and consultation on mental health, nicotine use and THR, and in 2016 organized the first Tobacco Harm Reduction Conference in the US. Helen is also a documentary filmmaker.

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