WHO Report Restricting Use of E-Cigarettes Fuels Debates Among Experts

The WHO released a much-awaited report on the use of e-cigarettes. It includes a number of restrictions which have displeased many, including experts who support the use of e-cigarettes.

e cigarettes

Banning the indoor use of e-cigarettes

The World Health Organisation have formulated recommendations for the use of e-cigarettes in a recent report. The latter dealt with regulatory measures like banning the indoor use of the devices. Other such limitations included the prohibition of the manufacturers of e-cigarettes to relate the ‘benefits’ to health; at least, not before concrete scientific evidence substantiates the claims that e-cigarettes are actually beneficial. These recommendations have displeased many. Experts have even denounced them as being ridiculous. They argue that these devices help in saving the lives of many all year round, since smokers are able to give up tobacco smoking by adhering to the e-cigarettes. The advocates of the device purported that the WHO should be encouraging its use instead of restricting it.

Mistakes in the WHO report

The experts who joined forces to decry the content of the report stated that it contains a number of errors and distorted evidence. As a consequence, the team has published a report of their own to refute the WHO one in the journal Addiction.

Refuting the WHO report

For instance, they have argued that less than 1 % of children not having tried tobacco smoking have tried out the e-cigarettes, while WHO said that the latter is a problem among youngsters and might lead them to taking to cigarette smoking in the future. Yet another point refuted was the presence of toxins in e-cigarettes: the experts said that the minute quantities are similar to what we breathe in when walking down the streets. Also, the experts insisted that e-cigarettes actually help smokers to give up their bad habit, while WHO said the opposite: that e-cigarettes act as obstacles to people trying to quit smoking.

Professor Peter Hajek from Queen Mary University stated: “These WHO recommendations are actually detrimental to public health. E-cigarettes could have a revolutionary effect on public health if smokers switch from cigarettes to e-cigarettes.”

October meeting

Officials will meet up in October to debate the content of the report.

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