The World Health Organization has issued the toughest warning on electronic cigarettes, claiming that they are unsafe and increase the risk of heart disease and lung disease.
The authority claimed that vaping was particularly risky for teenagers’ developing brains and could harm a growing fetus.
And they warned that electronic cigarettes expose non-smokers and vapers to nicotine and other harmful chemicals – in a series of messages heavily formulated during a question and answer on Twitter yesterday.
In addition, the body claimed that “there is little evidence” that helped smokers quit – and said they could actually have non-smokers hooked on nicotine.
And they urged governments to consider taxing products similar to cigarettes and regulating their promotion and use.
“Electronic cigarettes are harmful to health and unsafe,” said the body.
“Electronic cigarettes increase the risk of heart disease and lung disease.
“They pose significant risks as they can harm the growing fetus. They also expose nonsmokers to nicotine and other harmful chemicals.
“They are particularly risky when used by teenagers. Nicotine is addictive and young people’s brains develop until the mid 1920s.
Electronic cigarettes increase the risk of heart disease and lung disease
The World Health Organization
“Exposure to nicotine can have harmful and long lasting effects.”
When asked if the vaporizers were less dangerous than regular cigarettes, the organization would not give a definitive answer.
They said, “This depends on a number of factors, including the amount of nicotine and other toxicants in heated liquids, but we know that electronic cigarettes pose clear health risks and are not safe at all.”
Since 2015, Public Health England (PHE) has encouraged smokers to switch to vaping, claiming that it is 95% safer than tobacco smoke.
However, it has since emerged that a study used by PHE to warn that vaping was safe has been funded by the electronic cigarette industry.
And some experts have now questioned the 95% figure and asked PHE to stop recommending electronic cigarettes.
The latest figures from the Department of Health (DoH) show that one in 16 adults now vape, and nearly one in five current smokers also use electronic cigarettes along with regular cigarettes.
How safe are electronic cigarettes in the UK?
In the United Kingdom, electronic cigarettes are strictly regulated for safety and quality.
They are not completely risk-free, but they carry a small part of the risk of cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most harmful elements in tobacco smoke.
The liquid and vapor contain some potentially harmful chemicals that are also present in cigarette smoke, but at much lower levels.
While nicotine is the addictive substance in cigarettes, it is relatively harmless.
Almost all the harm from smoking comes from the thousands of other chemicals found in tobacco smoke, many of which are toxic.
Nicotine replacement therapy has been used extensively for many years to help people quit smoking and is a safe treatment.
There is no evidence so far that vaping causes harm to other people around you.
This is in contrast to passive smoking smoke, which is known to be very harmful to health.
The percentage of young people who have not smoked but tried to vape is increasing, DoH said in its latest report.
Commenting on the new warnings, Prof. John Newton, director of health improvement at PHE, told The Telegraph: “We continue to monitor the evidence on electronic cigarettes.
“However, smoking kills half the lives of smokers and causes nearly 220 deaths in England every day.
“If you don’t smoke, don’t vape. But if you smoke, there is no situation in which it would be better for your health to continue smoking rather than go completely to vaping.”
The World Health Organization said “there is no doubt” that e-cigarettes are harmful, but said it was too early to say the long-term impact.
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They also warned that electronic cigarettes can burn the skin and quickly cause nicotine poisoning if ingested or absorbed through the skin.
They said there was a risk that the devices would leak or that children would swallow the liquid and that they are known to cause serious injury from fire and explosion.
Experts have said that for tobacco consumers who want to quit smoking, there are other proven, safer and more licensed products such as nicotine replacement patches, gums and addictive treatments.