WHO: The Harm Of E-cigarettes Is Obvious, But The Benefits Are Questionable

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WHO: The Harm Of E-cigarettes Is Obvious, But The Benefits Are Questionable
WHO: The Harm Of E-cigarettes Is Obvious, But The Benefits Are Questionable

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Video: The Health Effects of E-cigarettes 2023, January
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WHO: The harm of e-cigarettes is obvious, but the benefits are questionable

The World Health Organization has issued a warning regarding the risks associated with electronic nicotine delivery systems or e-cigarettes. The agency claims that they are dangerous to both those who use them and those around them.

WHO: The harm of e-cigarettes is obvious, but the benefits are questionable
WHO: The harm of e-cigarettes is obvious, but the benefits are questionable

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning about the risks associated with electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) or e-cigarettes. The agency claims that they are dangerous to both those who use them and those around them.

ENDS is being promoted by manufacturers and governments in some countries as a safer alternative to smoking and an opportunity to quit the habit. The WHO says there is limited evidence that they can help you quit smoking, and the evidence on the harm of ENDS is substantial.

WHO emphasizes that ENDS is addictive in young people, in particular adolescents. Among them, the use of e-cigarettes has grown dramatically in recent years. At the same time, there is little evidence to support their use to prevent adolescents from smoking regular cigarettes.

Among the risks that are associated with ENDS, the agency highlights their link to diseases of the cardiovascular system and lungs. In the United States, an acute illness associated with vaping has killed more than 50 people, the number of cases exceeded 2500. WHO also emphasizes their harm to pregnant women.

WHO notes the possible harm from secondhand smoke, since the aerosol generated during vaping contains toxic substances. The agency opposes the marketing of ENDS to teens and restricts their use in indoor and workplace environments.

Science Magazine, in a new WHO document, recalls recent studies that point to the dangers associated with ENDS. An article was published this month that criticized the popular claim that e-cigarettes are 95% less dangerous than regular cigarettes. It argues that there is ample evidence to date of the potential harm of ENDS and the link between its use and future smoking.

In 2017, the journal JAMA Pediatrics published a study that found that adolescents who used ENDS started smoking in the future 23% of the time, compared with 7% of those who did not.

Whether ENDS is helping to quit smoking remains an open question. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicated that ENDS was more effective than nicotine replacement therapy. But it has been criticized for a number of shortcomings. Among them, it was indicated that 40% of the study participants continued to use the electrons of the cigarette for a year after quitting regular smoking. A quarter of the participants in the ENDS group continued to smoke and use e-cigarettes in parallel.

The Science Magazine columnist notes that the discussion around e-cigarettes is unlikely to end soon.

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