The World Health Organisation has come under heavy attack from leading health experts for its critics of electronic cigarettes. A ban on electronic cigarette use in workplaces and public spaces was proposed by the World Health Organisation last week, while health experts branded their argument against e cigarettes as misleading.
Health Experts Defend Electronic Cigarettes
Health experts at the University College London have rubbished the World Health Organisation claim that the levels of nicotine and toxins in the air is increased by e cigarette vapour. While they agree that that e cigarette vapour contains miniscule traces of some toxins the concentrations are so low they could not possibly contaminate the air. They also added that the toxins found in electronic cigarettes are many thousand times lower than the number and amount of toxins found in tobacco smoke.
They have also rubbished the World Health Organisation claim that electronic cigarettes are a gateway to smoking tobacco. Siting real life evidence compiled in the University’s monthly report which interviews smokers in all regions of England, they showed that less than 1% of non-smokers have used electronic cigarettes and if e cigarettes had not been available they would have smoked tobacco instead.
A spokesman said that recent warnings over electronic cigarettes are alarmist, when encouraging and increasing the use of e cigarettes would undoubtedly save millions of lives. Yes, there are still some unknown and untested elements regarding electronic cigarette safety, however early testing, results and reports are very encouraging. Even at this early stage in the development of electronic cigarette it is clear that they are far, far safer than smoking tobacco.
Experts Claim Increased Use of E Cigs Would Save Millions of Lives
The team at University College London have calculated that the lives of 6,000 smokers could be saved each year if one million smokers switched to electronic cigarettes. With ten million smokers in the UK alone up to 60,000 lives every year could be saved if everyone who smokes made the switch to e cigs. That’s over half of a million people who could be saved in ten years in the UK alone, so just think about the many millions of lives that could be saved worldwide if everyone switched to electronic cigarettes.
The Potentially Enormous Benefits of E Cigarettes
Researchers at the National Addiction Centre concluded that criticism of electronic cigarettes is based on untested and incorrect assumptions that are misleading.
Professor Peter Hajek explained that proposals to regulate or restrict electronic cigarettes should be careful not to reduce potential benefits when trying to reduce potential risks, there has to be a balanced approach. In the case of e cigarettes some of the potential risks have already been proven not to exist and other possible risks are unlikely, while potentially enormous benefits are possible. Public health really could be revolutionised by smokers switching to electronic cigarettes, I don’t know of any other possible single development in the history of mankind that could save so many lives worldwide. So ignoring the potentially enormous benefits just in case there are very small risks which may not even exist, is like banning people from using mobile phones because there is a 1 in 10,000,000 chance of the devices battery overheating which may cause an injury.
Some Experts are still to be Convinced of E Cig Benefits
Concerns over the World Health Organisation criticism of electronic cigarettes have also been expressed by the Faculty of Public Health president, Professor John Ashton who is against an e cigarette ban. However he still has concerns about the relatively little amount of data about electronic cigarettes that is currently available and would like to see further testing to ensure that e cigs are completely safe.
The Royal Society of Public Health chief executive officer, Shirley Cramer believes the argument about electronic cigarette benefits is still unclear. She points to evidence that is emerging from the United States suggesting that significant numbers of people that don’t smoke are getting hooked on nicotine by trying electronic cigarettes. She also suggests making e-cigarettes unappealing to non-smokers by marketing them as medicinal products and restricting their availability.
No matter how many health professionals and experts produce evidence that shows the positive effects of switching from smoking tobacco to using electronic cigarettes, there will always be some who refuse to support e cigarettes and help to condemn thousands of people each year to an early death, while the big tobacco companies continue to reap vast profits.
Will the WHO Reconsider its Position on Electronic Cigarettes?
At this time the WHO is yet to respond to the comments and criticisms on its report.