Switching to electronic cigarettes may reduce the number of deaths related with smoking, in 10 times – the BBC reports.
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged countries to prohibit the consumption of electronic cigarettes in public places and workplaces.
WHO explained the ban “because of increased levels of toxins and nicotine content in electronic cigarettes vapors”, writes TSN.
WHO also warned that exists some risks that the use of electronic cigarettes by non-smoking people can lead to the fact that in the future they will switch to smoking real tobacco.
At the same time, British scientists consider that the criticism of the electronic cigarette is not justified and only spreads panic.
In particular, researchers from the University College London pay attention to the fact that the percentage of non-smokers who use electronic cigarettes does not exceed 1% of the population, according to the monthly survey of England Smoking Toolkit.
Professor of the University College London, Robert West also says that even if some toxins are present in the electronic cigarettes vapors, their concentration is extremely low.
“Such evaporation do not carry any carcinogens, unlike cigarette smoke. Actually, the nicotine concentration in the vapor from electronic cigarette is 20 times lower than in tobacco cigarette smoke. If all 9 millions smokers from UK will switch to electronic cigarettes, Britain would reduce the annual number of deaths related to smoking by 10 times – from 60 000 to 6000 deaths per year “- said Professor Robert West.
With his findings also agree researchers of the National Addiction Center, which is based at King’s College London, as well as in the Department of the Queen Mary University.
The researchers concluded that some of the WHO’s assumptions are wrong. In particular, the lead researcher, Professor Peter Hayek said: “Approaching to this issue from all sides, is necessary to balance on the one hand reduced risks, on the other – reducing benefits. In this case, the risks are often far-fetched, and the benefits – extremely huge. This can really be a turning point moment in public health, if smokers will switch from regular cigarettes to electronic. It’s like if you ask consumers not to use mobile phones because one of 10 million batteries can overheat and burn your mobile phone. “
At the same time, the president of the Faculty of Public Health, Professor John Ashton, who expressed concerns about the circulation of electronic cigarettes, considers that is not necessary to completely prohibit them. “At the moment, about electronic cigarettes there are not enough objective information. Until we get clear evidence regarding the impact of electronic cigarettes on human health, this product should be sufficient adjusted.”
The head of the Royal Society of Public Health Shirley Kramer said that the main thing is to reduce the popularity and availability of electronic cigarettes for non-smokers. “It is important to restrict marketing of these products. Indeed, the electronic cigarette is basically a medicinal product, but not a fashion accessory,” – he said.