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WHO Urges Global Governments to Ban E-Cigarette

The WHO has advised that e-cigarettes be treated similarly to tobacco products, and has called for a complete ban.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended aligning e-cigarettes with tobacco products, advocating for a complete flavor ban, a move that challenges cigarette companies’ investments in smoking alternatives.

Divergent Views on E-Cigarettes:

While some perceive e-cigarettes, or vapes, as a potential solution to reduce smoking-related mortality and illness, the WHO’s stance underscores the urgency for stringent control measures due to concerns over insufficient evidence supporting their efficacy in aiding smoking cessation and potential health risks.

WHO’s Alarm over Vaping Statistics:

Highlighting alarming statistics, the WHO cited a higher prevalence of vape use among 13-15-year-olds across all regions compared to adults, attributing this trend to aggressive marketing tactics.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus voiced concerns about the recruitment of youth into e-cigarette usage, emphasizing the risk of nicotine addiction from an early age and urging nations to enforce stringent measures.

WHO’s Recommendations and Limited Authority:

The WHO proposed sweeping changes, including bans on flavoring agents like menthol and applying tobacco control measures to e-cigarettes, acknowledging its guidance role despite lacking regulatory authority over national policies.

Industry Perspectives and Conflicting Positions:

Tobacco companies like Imperial Brands and vape firm ANDS advocate for reduced health risks of vapes compared to tobacco and emphasize the role of flavors in aiding smokers to transition. 

They challenge the WHO’s stance as detached from reality, citing misunderstandings about vaping risks compared to smoking.

The WHO highlighted potential risks associated with vaping, citing the generation of carcinogenic substances, threats to heart and lung health, and possible impacts on young individuals’ brain development despite acknowledging a lack of comprehensive understanding of long-term health effects.

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