The World Health Organization (WHO) accuses the tobacco industry of deliberate misinformation and targeted recruitment of children when marketing e-cigarettes. The industry “finances and spreads false evidence to argue that these products reduce harm,” criticized the UN agency in Geneva. The WHO called for stricter regulations for such products.
E-cigarettes are promoted by tobacco companies as nicotine products that can reduce health risks compared to traditional cigarettes. The WHO pointed out that the use of electric nicotine vaporizers also produces toxic substances that can cause cancer and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, unborn children could be harmed in the womb and the mental development of underage users could be impaired, it said.
From the WHO's perspective, e-cigarettes are not a suitable alternative for reducing tobacco consumption, but rather increase the likelihood of using conventional cigarettes due to their addictive effects. “Children are being recruited and lured into a trap to use e-cigarettes from a young age,” warned WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The WHO called on countries to make e-cigarettes less attractive by banning flavors, reducing nicotine content and imposing taxes on these products.