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Can J Public Health. 2005 Sep-Oct;96(5):344-7.

Rationale to evaluate medically supervised safer smoking facilities for non-injection illicit drug users.

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  • 1British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, BC.


Many cities are experiencing ongoing infectious disease epidemics and substantial community harm as a result of illicit drug use. In an effort to reduce these public order and public health concerns, consideration has been given to the opening in Vancouver of a safer smoking facility (SSF). The present review was conducted to examine if there is a rationale to support the evaluation of a SSF in the Canadian context. Available evidence suggests that conventional drug control strategies are insufficient to address the health and community harms of non-injection drug use, and that the public order benefits of supervised injection facilities may be relevant to SSFs. In addition, there is persuasive evidence to suggest there is potential for blood-borne disease transmission through the sharing of smoking paraphernalia, and the potential for SSFs to address this concern is a pressing public health question. Also relevant to this topic are interventions to prevent transition into injection drug use, and SSFs may also be evaluated as a potential strategy to address this concern.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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