In the ongoing international debate over electronic cigarette research, the most recent news on this front has come from the World Health Organization, aka WHO, and the international group of renowned scientists who are urging the UN agency to avoid classifying the tobacco alternatives as “tobacco products.”
In an open letter to Margaret Chan, the Director General of WHO, scientists from across the world including Asia, Australia, North America, and Europe, stated that electronic cigarettes are a part of the answer, and that they are not the problem, in the fight against smoking. They also stated that they are low-risk products, and have the potential to drastically reduce the number of fatalities and illnesses associated with smoking. Considering that these are experts in the field of science, hopefully WHO will take into consideration their stance on the usefulness of the electronic alternatives.
WHO has continuously held a checkered relationship with the products, and has even gone so far as to consider them as a threat. However, as more and more research comes out in the international scope, top scientists are pushing for e-cigarettes to be viewed as positive, even citing them as very promising in the long run in the fight against tobacco and tobacco-related illnesses. It is general knowledge that tobacco is related to millions of deaths worldwide, and is one of the contributing factors behind increased risk of heart disease, many types of cancer, and serious respiratory illnesses.
“These products could be among the most significant health innovations of the 21st century – perhaps saving hundreds of millions of lives. The urge to control and suppress them as tobacco products should be resisted,” wrote the scientists.
As electronic cigarettes are still in their infancy, and research is being performed throughout the world, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for this burgeoning industry, especially in terms of international e-cigarette regulations. In the meantime, it is certainly a positive that many of the world’s top scientists are willing to support the cause in favor of electronic cigarettes, seeing their many benefits, and voicing their beliefs to a major force such as the World Health Organization.