‘No Doubt’ E-Cigarettes Harmful: WHO

The UN health agency said there was not enough evidence to say e-cigarettes help smokers quit. PHOTO | FILE | AFP

By Daily Nation

Electronic cigarettes are harmful both to users and bystanders exposed to the fumes, the World Health Organization says in a report warning they can damage growing foetuses and impact teenagers’ brains.

So-called electronic nicotine delivery systems, or ENDS, have been pushed by producers as well as some governments as a safer alternative to smoking, and as a path to kicking the habit.

But in a strongly-worded series of questions and answers about such e-cigarettes, the UN health agency said there was not enough evidence to say they help smokers quit, but that there was clear evidence they are dangerous.

“There is no doubt that they are harmful to health and are not safe,” WHO said in one answer, stressing though that “it is too early to provide a clear answer on the long-term impact of using them or being exposed to them.”

The battery-powered devices that enable users to inhale addictive nicotine liquids and exhale vapour “are particularly risky when used by adolescents,” WHO said, strengthening initial warnings it made in 2019.

“Nicotine is highly addictive and young people’s brains develop up to their mid-twenties,” it said in a document published Tuesday, stressing that “exposure to nicotine can have long-lasting, damaging effects.” Read more>>

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