The World Health Organization (WHO) published a new, 120-page dramatic report about the global tobacco epidemic on Sunday, July 28 2019. A full chapter in the report (pgs. 56-59) was dedicated to the range of e-cigarettes, determining that they serve in significant numbers as a “gateway” to conventional smoking among young people and as a tactic by tobacco companies to expand their consumer base under the guise of contributing to public health. The WHO report recommends that countries should ban the marketing of flavored e-cigarettes that are known to be appealing to young people to uptake, as well as adopt policies and regulation to force manufacturers to make products unattractive to young people by using plain packaging for all tobacco products. The new report further determined that to date, it cannot be argued that e- cigarettes aid smoking cessation, since scientific evidence is inconclusive and there exist a wide variety of e-cigarettes, some of which have never been researched by the manufacturers themselves (such as the most popular e-cigarette, Juul).
The ICA stated in response: “we join the position held by the WHO and stress that in current studies, e-cigarettes have already been found to contain toxins and carcinogenic substances that may lead to development of cancer tumors, myocardial infarction, stroke and an increased risk of heart diseases, as the manufacturers themselves admit. The latter are most often partners in or owners of established tobacco companies, who continue to simultaneously produce and market regular cigarettes, and are in need of new addicts.
We are extremely concerned by the gadgets that appeal to young people and teenagers, enabling them to consume the same addictive nicotine we are familiar with from ordinary tobacco cigarettes – but in a new, electronic fashion. Only now, nicotine is available in high concentrations and the users inhale and absorb nicotine continuously in amounts that at times exceed those of regular cigarettes significantly.”