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E-cigarettes are Tobacco — says WHO?

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Quick question: what is an e-cigarette? Is it a tobacco product? Could it be a solution to help you kick the habit? Or would you say it’s a cleaner, better smelling alternative to traditional smoking?

If you said they are a solution and not the problem, then you might be one of the 53 top scientists who share your opinion and made it known to the international community. (Thanks for reading, doctor!) The group of experts warned the World Health Organization (WHO) that a plan to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco would harm progress made against traditional cigarette-related illness and addiction.

The WHO will formally announce its position during an October conference in Moscow. So if you said e-cigarettes are just tobacco in disguise, then you may want to put your money on the WHO.

 

E-cigarettes as Tobacco – So What?

World e-cigarette sales reached $3 billion in 2013, and the market is only expanding. However, 178 countries could be bound by the WHO’s opinion, and this will cause severe limitations upon the products. Where the WHO goes, so goes these nations (the United States is not a part of the member nations who must follow suit, but the ruling could lead to changes in the future). If the WHO makes the tobacco connection, these 178 countries would be responsible for the following:

  • Implementation of plans to discourage private and public e-cigarette use
  • Adding health warnings on each box
  • Ending certain advertisement practices
  • Raising taxes on the product

Yet, the 53 researchers are adamant that a tangible connection cannot be made among e-cigarettes, tobacco, addiction or any of the other concerning factors found in traditional cigarettes. The eyes of manufacturers, sellers and consumers will be on Moscow and the WHO this October. What do you think should happen?

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