Vapor the new front in the war on smoking


Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and similar devices are dangerous to health and must be regulated to curb tobacco industry tactics aimed at making young people addicted to nicotine, the World Health Organization has warned ( WHO) on July 27 (2021).

“Nicotine is very addictive. Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are harmful and need to be better regulated, ”said WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The WHO report on the 2021 global tobacco epidemic, which focuses on new and emerging products and was released on July 27 (2021), said NDT should be tightly regulated for maximum protection of public health.

“Where they are not prohibited, governments should adopt appropriate policies to protect their populations from the harms of NDT and prevent their uptake by children, adolescents and other vulnerable groups,” said Dr Ghebreyesus.

The UN health agency’s eighth annual report says the makers of ENDS often target young people with thousands of mouthwatering flavors – the document lists 16,000 – and reassuring statements.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, WHO’s global ambassador for noncommunicable diseases, said there were still more than a billion smokers in the world.

“As cigarette sales have plummeted, tobacco companies have aggressively marketed new products like e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, and lobbied governments to limit their regulation,” a- he declared.

“Their goal is simple: to hook another generation to nicotine.

“We cannot let this happen.”

The WHO is particularly concerned about people under the age of 20 using electronic cigarettes, because of the harmful effects of nicotine on brain development.

He also believes that children who use these devices are more likely to smoke later in life.

However, regulating these products is not necessarily straightforward as the product line is very diverse and evolving rapidly, said Ruediger Krech, director of the WHO health promotion department.

“Distinguishing nicotine-containing products from nicotine-free products, or even certain tobacco products, can be almost impossible.

“This is just one way for the industry to subvert and undermine tobacco control measures,” he said.

The WHO recommends that governments do everything in their power to prevent non-smokers from adopting electronic cigarettes, for fear of “renormalizing smoking in society”.

The report found that 32 countries have banned the sale of ENDS.

79 others have adopted at least one partial measure to either ban the use of these products in public places, or to ban their advertising, promotion and sponsorship, or to require the display of health warnings on packaging .

“That still leaves 84 countries where they are not regulated or restricted in any way,” the WHO said.

He stressed that efforts to regulate e-cigarettes should not distract from tobacco control.

Although the proportion of smokers has declined in many countries, population growth means that the total number of smokers remains “stubbornly high,” he said.

“Tobacco is responsible for the death of eight million people a year, including one million from second-hand smoke,” he said. – AFP Relaxnews

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