Updated WHO Position | E-cigarettes (2022)

Date:

There are many different types of e-cigarettes in use, also known as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and sometimes electronic non-nicotine delivery systems (ENNDS). These systems heat a liquid to create aerosols that are inhaled by the user.

These so-called e-liquids may or may not contain nicotine (but not tobacco) but also typically contain additives, flavours and chemicals that can be toxic to people’s health.

Are e-cigarettes dangerous?

Electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes) are the most common form of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and electronic non-nicotine delivery systems (ENNDS) but there are others, such as e-cigars and e-pipes. ENDS contain varying amounts of nicotine and harmful emissions.

E-cigarette emissions typically contain nicotine and other toxic substances that are harmful to both users, and non-users who are exposed to the aerosols second-hand. Some products claiming to be nicotine-free (ENNDS) have been found to contain nicotine.

The consumption of nicotine in children and adolescents has deleterious impacts on brain development, leading to long-term consequences for brain development and potentially leading to learning and anxiety disorders.

Nicotine is highly addictive and some evidence suggest that never-smoker minors who use ENDS can double their chance of starting to smoke tobacco cigarettes later in life.

Evidence reveals that these products are harmful to health and are not safe. However, it is too early to provide a clear answer on the long-term impact of using them or being exposed to them. Some recent studies suggest that ENDS use can increase the risk of heart disease and lung disorders. Nicotine exposure in pregnant women can have similar consequences for the brain development of the fetus.

ENDS use can also expose non-smokers and bystanders to nicotine and other harmful chemicals.

Electronic delivery systems have also been linked to a number of physical injuries, including burns from explosions or malfunctions, when the products are not of the expected standard or are tampered with by users.

Accidental exposure of children to ENDS e-liquids pose serious risks as devices may leak, or children may swallow the poisonous e-liquid.

Do e-cigarettes (ENDS) cause lung injuries?

There is growing evidence that ENDS could be associated with lung injuries and in recent times e-cigarette and vaping have been linked to an outbreak of lung injury in the USA. This is described by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as e-cigarette or vaping associated lung injury (EVALI), which led the CDC to activate an emergency investigation into EVALI on 17 September 2019.

The CDC notes, “As of 18 February 2020, there have been a total of 2,807 cases of EVALI reported from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, including 60 deaths confirmed in 27 states and the District of Columbia. While the cause of these deaths has not been conclusively determined, vitamin E acetate (VEA), a common additive in ENDS that contains cannabis (or THC), is thought to have played a significant role in these cases of lung injury. Further information on this incident, including a strong link of the EVALI outbreak to Vitamin E Acetate and the latest report, is available at https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html, which is updated every week, as the evidence is not sufficient to exclude the contribution of other chemicals.”

Are e-cigarettes more or less dangerous than conventional tobacco cigarettes?

Both tobacco products and ENDS pose risks to health.  The safest approach is not to use either.

The levels of risk associated with using ENDS or tobacco products are likely to depend on a range of factors, some relating to the products used and some to the individual user. Factors include product type and characteristics, how the products are used, including frequency of use, how the products are manufactured, who is using the product, and whether product characteristics are manipulated post-sale.

Toxicity is not the only factor in considering risk to an individual or a population from exposure to ENDS emissions. These factors may include the potential for abusing or manipulating the product, use by children and adolescents who otherwise would not have used cigarettes, simultaneous use with other tobacco products (dual or poly use) and children and adolescents going on to use smoked products following experimentation with ENDS.  Further, not all ENDS are the same and the risks to health may differ from one product to another, and from user to user.

Read full article here.

World Health Organization – 2022-05-25.

Want More Investigative Content?

Curate RegWatch
Curate RegWatchhttps://regulatorwatch.com
In addition to our original coverage, RegWatch curates top stories on issues and impacts arising from the regulation of economic, social and environmental activity in Canada and the U.S.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

MORE VAPING

Comments Now Open Again on Our Website!

Hi folks, after a short lockdown of our website, we've now re-opened viewer comments on our posts. Your input on the stories we post...

Vaping Coverage Get it NOW!

Sign Up for Incisive Content!

RegWatch original video is designed to move opinion. Get our videos first and be the first to share.

Your Information will never be shared with any third party