BBC News – ‘Resist urge to control e-cigarettes’, WHO told

Smoking an e-cigarette

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Some docs argue it’s too early to know whether or not advantages outweigh potential dangers, as Jane Dreaper studies

A letter signed by greater than 50 researchers and public well being specialists is urging the World Health Organization (WHO) to “resist the urge to control and suppress e-cigarettes”.

The letter says the units – which ship nicotine in a vapour – might be a “vital well being innovation”.

But the UK’s Faculty of Public Health says it’s too early to know whether or not advantages outweigh potential dangers.

The WHO stated it was nonetheless deciding what suggestions to make to governments.

Smoking an e-cigarette

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The open letter has been organised within the run-up to vital worldwide negotiations on tobacco coverage this yr.

Supporters of e-cigarettes, who argue the merchandise are a low-danger substitute for smoking, worry they could grow to be topic to discount targets and promoting bans.

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Graphic: What's inside an e-cigarette?

M. On some e-cigarettes, inhalation prompts the battery-powered atomiser. Other varieties are manually switched on

P. A heating coil contained in the atomiser heats liquid nicotine contained in a cartridge

A. Liquid nicotine turns into vapour and is inhaled. The ‘smoke’ produced is essentially water vapour. Many e-cigarettes have an LED mild as a beauty function to simulate conventional cigarette glow.

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There has been an enormous progress out there for e-cigarettes, however the Department of Health says they don’t seem to be danger-free.

Critics say not sufficient is understood about their lengthy-time period well being results. A current report commissioned by Public Health England stated e-cigarettes required “applicable regulation, cautious monitoring and danger administration” if their advantages have been to be maximised.

The letter has been signed by fifty three researchers – together with specialists in public well being coverage and specialists corresponding to Prof Robert West, who revealed analysis final week suggesting that e-cigarettes are extra probably to assist individuals hand over smoking than some typical strategies.

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We are deeply involved that classifying these merchandise as tobacco will do extra hurt than good”

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Open letter to the WHO

Some of the signatories work on analysis into tobacco science and smoking cessation. Three have been concerned in advising the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on its tips about decreasing the hurt from tobacco.

‘Perverse impact’

The letter says: “These merchandise could possibly be among the many most vital well being improvements of the twenty first Century – maybe saving a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of lives.

“If regulators deal with low-danger nicotine merchandise as conventional tobacco merchandise… they’re improperly defining them as a part of the issue.

“Regulators ought to keep away from help for measures that would have the perverse impact of prolonging cigarette consumption.

“We are deeply involved that the classification of those merchandise as tobacco will do extra hurt than good.

“The potential for tobacco hurt discount merchandise to scale back the burden of smoking-associated illness could be very giant.”

Woman smoking an electronic cigarette

The organisers of the letter quote a leaked WHO doc that refers to e-cigarettes as a “menace… which might end in a brand new wave of the tobacco epidemic”.

The WHO treaty on tobacco control presently covers 178 nations and ninety% of the world’s inhabitants.

W-cigarettes are battery-powered units that mimic the expertise of smoking. Users inhale a vapour from a heated liquid that accommodates a focus of nicotine.

Prof West, of University College London told the BBC e-cigarettes must be “regulated applicable to what they’re” and that they’re “orders of magnitude safer” than tobacco cigarettes.

He referred to as for “bespoke regulation”, together with banning gross sales for underneath-18s and having advertising directed at those that already smoke.

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We want to weigh up the advantages of fewer individuals smoking towards the danger of digital cigarettes main to extra individuals beginning to smoke”

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Prof John Ashton
Faculty of Public Health

A WHO spokesman stated: “WHO is presently engaged on suggestions for governments on the regulation and advertising of e-cigarettes and comparable units.

“This is a part of a paper that can be submitted to the events of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control later this yr.

“We are additionally working with nationwide regulatory our bodies to take a look at regulatory choices, in addition to toxicology specialists, to perceive extra concerning the attainable impression of e-cigarettes and comparable units on well being.”

The British Medical Association (BMA) has referred to as for stronger regulation of the units within the UK.

Dr Vivienne Nathanson, the BMA’s director of professional actions, told BBC Breakfast there was proof that youngsters who had by no means smoked were starting to use e-cigarettes, having been influenced by advertising campaigns.

“Rather like cigarettes within the 50s and 60s, we actually want to take a look at that and, I consider, ban it (promoting), to cease them promoting in a means that draws youngsters,” she added.

Prof John Ashton, president of the Faculty of Public Health, stated he was additionally involved about youngsters utilizing e-cigarettes.

‘No uniformity’

“We want to weigh up the advantages of fewer individuals smoking towards the danger of digital cigarettes main to extra individuals beginning to smoke, notably youngsters,” he stated.

Prof Martin McKee, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, stated: “The well being group is totally divided as regards to whether or not digital cigarettes are safer than actual cigarettes.

“While the signatories to this letter are clearly supportive, the World Health Organization, appropriately, bases its selections on one of the best out there proof.”

He stated it might be “untimely” to advocate using e-cigarettes till their security had been established.

The Welsh authorities needs to prohibit using e-cigarettes in enclosed public locations, due to considerations that they normalise smoking.

Richard Evans, vice-chairman of the Welsh Pharmacy Board, which is a part of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales, believes they need to be regulated in the identical method as conventional cigarettes.

He stated: “At the second the merchandise which might be available on the market – we do not know what commonplace they’re. They can differ from product to product – there isn’t any uniformity in any respect N:34 am – Source:

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