WHO urged not to control, suppress e-cigarettes

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Last Updated: Jun 2, 2014

Over 50 researchers and health specialists signed a petition to the World Health Organization asking it not to suppress or control e-cigarettes.

There were 53 researchers who signed the letter; including public health policy specialists and other experts like Professor Robert West.

Just last week, West published a research suggesting that the device are more effective in helping people quit smoking compared to other traditional methods.

Some of the signatories were part of the team that advised the tobacco guidelines of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

The letter reads that e-cigarettes could be an important health innovation. The letter even indicates that e-cigarettes can help save hundreds of millions of lives.

However, the Faculty Public Health of UK said that it is still too early to conclude if the device that delivers nicotine through vapour has health benefits that outweigh its negative effects.

According to WHO, it is still in the process of deciding what rules and recommendations it will make for the different governments of the world.

The open letter aims to make a strong statement during the international negotiations for this year’s tobacco policy.

E-cigarette supporters fear that they would be subjected to advertising bans and reduction targets.

These supporters argue that e-cigarettes are low-risk alternatives to smoking real cigarettes.

These devices have seen a significant growth in sales, however, WHO believes that e-cigarettes are not risk-free.

There are critics who argue that they are still not sure about the long-term negative effects that can be incurred from these devices.

Recently, the Public Health England has commissioned a report, which states that to maximize the benefits of the e-cigarette, there should be an appropriate regulation of the device complemented with risk management and careful monitoring.

Those who signed the letter fear that classifying this technology, as tobacco would inflict more harm than being beneficial.

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