E-cigarette warning seems more PR than medical science, and some doctors dispute it – the WHO was accused of spreading ‘blatant misinformation’ about the potential risks and benefits of e-cigarettes following the release of an usual press release
E-cigarettes can damage the brains of teenagers and harm growing fetuses, the World Health Organisation has warned.”
This was but one “scary” headline to appear following an unusually forthright press release from the WHO on the subject of e-cigarettes/vaping. And, notably, the odd format of its press document, in a question and answer style, was not backed by any new research or high-powered commission report.
For those of us who follow and interact with the WHO on a weekly basis, it is an unusual move for the UN agency. More PR than medical science. But there can be no doubt about the damning message: it said the electronic nicotine delivery devices (ENDS) are harmful to health and not safe – adding that it’s not clear whether they even help people quit smoking.
Here’s a flavour of the document: “ENDS increase the risk of heart disease and lung disorders. For pregnant women, ENDS pose significant risks as they can damage the growing foetus. ENDS also expose non-smokers and bystanders to nicotine and other harmful chemicals. The liquid in ENDS can burn skin and rapidly cause nicotine poisoning if swallowed or absorbed through the skin. There is a risk of the devices leaking, or of children swallowing the liquid, and ENDS have been known to cause serious injuries through fires and explosions.”
Dr Muiris Houston – Irish Times – Feb 3, 2020.