WHO Calls for Stronger Controls on E-Cigarettes
In its most critical report so far the World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for a clampdown on e-cigarettes, including banning their use indoors and placing greater restrictions on advertising.
Whilst accepting that the harm posed is less than conventional cigarettes, the document questions the lack of data on e-cigarettes’ effectiveness in helping people to quit smoking. The WHO also want vending machines stocking e-cigarettes removed from ‘almost all locations’ and those products which contain sweet or alcoholic drink flavours removed from sale.
The Department of Health has stated that there are currently no plans to restrict usage at this time; it will continue with plans to introduce the European Tobacco Products Directive in 2016 as well as preventing e-cigarette sales to under 18’s at the same time.
Professor John Ashton of the Faculty of Public Health supports the WHO’s stance; speaking in The Guardian newspaper he said, “Most adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18. That’s why many public health experts are concerned that the advertising of electronic cigarettes could make it seem normal to think smoking is glamorous, when it is anything but. We also don’t know enough yet about the harms and side effects of electronic cigarettes, and it will take years before we can be sure what they are.”
The WHO say 59 countries currently regulate e-cigarettes, an industry which is estimated to have a global worth of almost £2 billion.
You can read the WHO report on e-cigarettes here