How did UK researchers respond to WHO warnings on vaping?

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E-cigarettes are everywhere and rarely out of the news. But WHO (The World Health Organisation) has issued its strongest warning to date about e-cigarettes – claiming that they have a profound effect on human health.

They expressed concerns about e-liquid and the value of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool and made the following statement: “there is no doubt that e-cigarettes are harmful to health and are not safe but it’s too early to provide a clear answer on the long term impact of using them”.

They went on to say that there was insufficient evidence to support the use of e-cigs as an aid to quit smoking – despite all of the available records of success stories from ex-smokers who used vaping as an alternative.

WHO also claimed that e-cigarettes are risky when used by adolescents as the exposure to nicotine can have long-lasting, damaging effects.

What do UK researchers have to say about this?

As you’d expect, UK Public Health researchers have not taken this lying down and have accused WHO of misinforming society on the benefits and potential risks posed by e-cigarettes.

Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London, wrote the following statement which was released by the UK Science Media Centre:

“There is no evidence that vaping is ‘highly addictive’. Less than 1% of non-smokers become regular vapers. Vaping does not lead young people to smoking – smoking among young people is at an all-time low. There is clear evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers quit.”

Ever since 2015, Public Health England (PHE) has been advising smokers to put down their favourite packet of cigarettes and to switch to vaping, claiming that it’s 95% safer than smoking tobacco. They stand by the fact that there are substantial health benefits for those who ditch tobacco cigarettes and use the electronic kind instead.

What’s more, director of the UK Centre of Tobacco & Alcohol studies, and a respiratory medicine consultant at Nottingham University, John Britton explained: “E-cigarettes are clearly less harmful than tobacco. WHO misrepresents the available scientific evidence.”

So, just how safe is vaping?

Many investigations are being carried out around the topic of vaping and studies are still ongoing to explore whether vaping does pose any health risks to the lungs and cardiovascular system.

The World Health Organisation is still adamant that the downsides of vaping outweigh the benefits and say that there are other proven, safer, and licensed products which can help users to quit (i.e. nicotine replacement patches and gums).

But something we do know is that smoking-related diseases account for approximately 100,000 deaths each year, here in the UK – usually as a result of lung cancer, chronic obtrusive pulmonary disease (COPD), and coronary heart disease.

Surveys show that more than 7.1% of the adult population in Great Britain use e-cigarettes. Of these, 54% are ex-smokers who have publicly shared their success stories about how using e-liquids and e-cigarettes have helped them to finally stop smoking.

For more information about e-cigarettes – including the various types of hardware you can buy and the different nicotine liquid flavours on the market today, call Cloudstix on 0345 257 6544, or drop us an email at [email protected].