WHO: E-Cigs Not Healthy Panacea Tobacco Companies Tout

The World Health Organization is pushing for more safeguards against what many smokers think of as "safe" smoking – vaping, or using handheld vaporizers to inhale a tobacco-infused steam. 

Vaping carries its own risks, says the report, from toxic chemicals to the same addicting properties. The Center for Effective Government breaks it down well in a recent article:

Contrary to industry advertising, a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO) finds that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and other electronic nicotine delivery systems pose significant public health hazards because of toxins emitted from the devices. The agency recommends that countries adopt e-cigarette rules to prevent misleading marketing of the products and to educate the public about the potential health risks involved.

They're saying that tobacco companies haven't changed, though now their product appears less harmful. We can expect the same dodgy marketing techniques, and we can expect the companies to hide or minimize the science when it goes against their bottom line. 

It appears that the new delivery devices are a bit safer, but: 

[The] WHO warns that the “amount of risk reduction . . . is presently unknown.” The report also notes uncertainty about whether second-hand exposure risks from e-cigarettes are lower than regular cigarettes.

Already, tobacco companies are making some incredibly dubious claims about their product:

The WHO report also takes misleading marketing to task, noting the frequent use of unsubstantiated claims about e-cigarettes in product ads. According to the report, there is insufficient evidence that using e-cigarettes will help people quit smoking, yet ads commonly market e-cigarettes as a smoking-cessation device. Other marketing tactics may even encourage more frequent smoking.

 

Regulations are needed now, before vaping becomes more widespread, to curb those shady marketing techniques and to ensure information regarding the health risks of inhaling the toxic-filled vapor is disseminated and not supressed.

The WHO report says, “Regulation of [e-cigarettes] is a necessary precondition for establishing a scientific basis on which to judge the effects of their use, and for ensuring that adequate research is conducted, that the public has current, reliable information as to the potential risks and benefits of [e-cigarettes], and that the health of the public is protected.”

 

 

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