WHO e-cigarette demands dismissed by doctors
Doctors who have developed a new brand of e-cigarettes have dismissed the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) calls for a ban on the indoor use of the products and tough new restrictions on advertising.
Electronic cigarettes company One Lite – owned and developed by a team of doctors – believes tighter controls will only lead to fewer people switching from traditional tobacco or quitting smoking altogether.
Millions of smokers in the UK and across the world are switching to electronic cigarettes, which contain none of the 4,000 toxins and carcinogens found in tobacco cigarettes that cause lung cancer and other deadly illnesses.
E-cigarette companies, including One Lite, believe the reduction in tobacco usage will have an enormous beneficial effect on the health of millions of smokers and substantially reduce the strain the National Health Service.
However, WHO said there should be a ban on the use of e-cigarettes indoors. In a report the health body said there must be no more claims that the devices can help smokers quit – until there is firm evidence to support this.
Dr Aman Singh, director of Birmingham-based One Lite, said: “We firmly believe that what WHO is proposing could have a very negative impact on the future health of smokers.
“Research on electronic cigarettes is at the early trials stage, but it is showing that e-cigarettes can be as effective as Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRTSs) – with some users of electronic cigarettes having now stopped for good.
“Here at One Lite, we’re proud that ours is the only e-cigarette developed with doctors. We differ from other brands by ensuring our products are produced within our UK-based laboratories using only pharmaceutical grade nicotine and food grade flavouring. Each and every batch is fully tested for quality and purity to ensure it meets our standards prior to it being signed off and released for consumer use.
“We truly feel that the electronic cigarette industry can be a massive positive for the health of smokers, causing less strain on the NHS and offering an alternative to traditional cigarettes. By offering a range of strengths and flavours we can help to wean smokers off the habit and their addiction to nicotine. What’s more, research shows that there is no passive smoke harm done to none users.”
He added: “We as a brand are very strict on the way our products are advertised and promoted as an alternative to smoking and we always stress that they are for adults only. All of our marketing is kept inline with this, and our packaging clearly states that our products are for sale to over-18s only.
“We also work hard to ensure that the flavours we have developed are not encouraging young people to take up smoking, but are directed at existing smokers who now prefer to vape e-liquids.”
Dr Singh is a fully qualified medical doctor whose brother Dr Gurdeep Singh is also a director of the company. They have seen first-hand the severe health consequences of smoking tobacco. According to the WHO legal steps need to be taken to end the use of e-cigarettes indoors – both in public spaces and in work places. The health experts call for a ban on advertisements that could encourage children and non-smokers to use the devices.
But some researchers suggest tough regulations may prevent smokers having access to products that are potentially less harmful than conventional cigarettes. The WHO’s recommendations were published ahead of a meeting involving all countries that have signed up to an international convention on tobacco control. New global guidelines could be agreed during the October meeting.