E-cigarettes need regulation to protect the public
E-cigarettes and the liquids used inside them need to be regulated to protect the public, according to the World Health Organisation.
It acknowledges that e-cigarettes are “likely to be less toxic than conventional cigarettes” but that some e-cigs have been found to contain cancer-causing agents such as formaldehyde and “nobody knows how much less toxic they are”.
It points to the “great variety in the levels of toxicants and nicotine” produced by the hundreds of brands on the market – only a few of which have been studied.
Because of this, WHO wants e-cigarettes to be regulated in the same way that tobacco is.
In the meantime, it recommends people opt for alternative nicotine replacement tools such as patches, gum and inhalers.
The e-cigarette industry believes that WHO’s report is flawed.
“WHO’s interpretation always assumes the worst case scenario to the point where it becomes moderately dishonest,” says Tom Pruen, Chief Scientific Officer of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association (ECITA).
“It exaggerates small risks and invents some risks that don’t seem to exist at all,” he adds, referring to a point in the report where WHO claims that second-hand exposure to e-cigarette vapour is a danger to non-smokers and pregnant women.
“No one is suggesting non-smokers should be taking this up in droves. But 50% of smokers will die of smoking-related diseases. And this can help people give up.”
By Olivia Solon, Mirror