The World Health Organization advises against E-cigarettes
As part of their Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI), the World Health Oganization (WHO) made a statement earlier this week concerning the use of electronic cigarettes or ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems).
The statement from the UN body poses a couple of questions concerning the effectiveness and safety of ENDS.
Concerning the safety of electronic cigarettes, the WHO says “The safety of ENDS has not been scientifically demonstrated.”
“The potential risks they pose for the health of users remain undetermined. Furthermore, scientific testing indicates that the products vary widely in the amount of nicotine and other chemicals they deliver and there is no way for consumers to find out what is actually delivered by the product they have purchased”, the WHO states.
They point to the presence of large concentrations of propylene glycol in e-cigarettes, saying that the chemical is a known irritant when inhaled.
In the statement, the WHO also mentions the risk of nicotine poisoning, particularly to certian populations like children if they were to swallow the contents of a nicotine cartridge.
The second question posed by the WHO is “Is use of electronic cigarettes (ENDS) an effective method for quitting tobacco smoking?”
Again, the global health body answers by saying this has not been scientifically demonstrated.
“ENDS are often touted as tobacco replacements, smoking alternatives or smoking cessation aids. But we know that for smoking cessation products to be most effectively and safely used, they need to be used according to instructions developed for each product through scientific testing. There are no scientifically proven instructions for using ENDS as replacements or to quit smoking. The implied health benefits associated with these claims are unsubstantiated or may be based on inaccurate or misleading information.”
Based on this information, the WHO concludes that consumers should be strongly advised not to use any of these products, including electronic cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes or ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems) are devices whose function is to vaporize and deliver to the lungs of the user a chemical mixture typically composed of nicotine, propylene glycol and other chemicals, although some products claim to contain no nicotine.
Each device contains an electronic vaporization system, rechargeable batteries, electronic controls and cartridges of the liquid that is vaporized. The manufacturers report that the cartridges typically contain between 6 and 24 mg of nicotine, but sometimes can contain more than 100 mg.