Researchers Defend E-cigarettes

As e-cigarettes gain more and more supporters (as evidenced by rapidly rising sales) and just as many detractors, researchers at University College London (UCL) released a report saying thousands of lives could be saved by e-cigarettes. While critics are concerned with the potential marketing to children and unknown health risks, as discussed in a recent Consumer’s Research article, researchers at UCL focus on the benefits compared to smoking conventional cigarettes. The team highlights the relatively low concentrations of the toxins and carcinogens compared to tobacco based cigarettes.

This report has been released in response to calls from the World Health Organization to ban e-cigarettes in public places. The WHO asserts that e-cigarettes could be harmful to bystanders as toxins are released in to the surrounding air. The effects on adolescents and pregnant women are also identified as potential health risks that should be investigated.

The National Addiction Centre and the Tobacco Dependence Unit in London have called the WHO claims “misleading.” On the other hand numbers in the US have shown that e-cigarettes are picking up popularity among non-smokers, leading some to worry that they may act as a gateway to nicotine addiction.

We need to curb the appeal of ‘e-cigarettes’ to non-smokers – it would help if we stop marketing what is essentially a medicinal product as a cool or trendy fashion accessory,” said Shirley Cramer, chief executive officer of the Royal Society of Public Health in the UK.

It is best to note that e-cigarettes may be a better alternative than traditional cigarettes but are not wholly without their own risks. Consumers are advised to consult their doctors on the best treatments for nicotine addiction.

Read more here –  “E-cigarette Criticisms “Alarmist” Say Researchers” (Nick Triggle, BBC)

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Originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland, Millan is a senior at the George Washington University studying Biological Anthropology.


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