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Thursday 22nd August 2019

Open letter by scientists supporting e-cigarettes

2nd June 2014

A letter signed by more than 50 researchers and public specialists urged the World Health Organisation (WHO) to "resist the urge to control and suppress e-cigarettes".

smoker1Supporters are worried WHO will introduce reduction targets and advertising campaigns against e-cigarettes.

The open letter has been drafted in the run-up to important international negotiations on tobacco policy this year.

The letter begins with: "These products could be among the most significant health innovations of the 21st Century - perhaps saving hundreds of millions of lives.

"We [the group of researchers] are deeply concerned that the classification of these products as tobacco will do more harm than good."

The WHO treaty on tobacco control currently covers 178 countries and 90% of the world's population - WHO say is still deciding what recommendations to make to governments.


There has been a large growth in sales of e-cigarettes as a low-risk alternative to tobacco cigarettes: however, the Department of Health says that they are not completely risk-free.

Public Health England believe they require 'appropriate regulation' and that it is too early to know whether the benefits outweigh potential risks.

The British Medical Association is calling for stronger regulation of the devices in the UK.

The Welsh government wants to restrict the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public places, because of concerns of normalising its use.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has called for stronger regulation of the devices in the UK. A BMA spokesperson said there was evidence that children who had never smoked were starting to use e-cigarettes, having been influenced by marketing campaigns.

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