Is vaping being accepted more on the basis of scientific evidence?
Are e-cigarettes and other vaping products dangerous? -- often comes to our mind. The World Health Organisation (WHO) answers that e-cigarette emissions typically contain nicotine and other toxic substances that are harmful to both users, and non-users who are exposed to the aerosols second-hand. The counter groups claim that hundreds of millions of cigarette smokers could benefit from switching to vaping, which is 95% less harmful.
The UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England), which provided the 95% figure in a landmark review, concluded that "vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits over continued smoking."
The groups claim that WHO's position on vaping has not been swayed by the series of evidence that emerged over the years, showing that vaping can be very effective as a quit smoking tool, having the potential to help millions of smokers quit the life-threatening addiction.
The Q&A published in WHO website is very strict against electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) criticised this stance. The organisation lambasted WHO for not unequivocally saying that vaping is less harmful than cigarette smoking.
"If you were a smoker desperate to quit reading this Q&A, you'd likely stay smoking." said CAPHRA's Executive Coordinator, Nancy Loucas.
A recent 59-page white paper discussing case studies conducted in several countries to measure smoking cessation-related progress, has shown that those following the WHO's guidance, keep struggling with higher smoking rates.
Titled "Vaping Works. International Best Practices: United Kingdom, New Zealand, France and Canada," analyses the policies implemented by governments on electronic cigarettes and combustible tobacco products for smoking cessation efforts in the UK, New Zealand, France and Canada. The paper noted that countries that embrace vaping, such as France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada have witnessed a decrease in smoking rates that is twice as fast as the global average.