Geneva: Electronic cigarettes and similar devices are dangerous to health and must be regulated to curb the tobacco industry’s tactics to get young people hooked on nicotine, the World Health Organisation warned on Tuesday.
"Nicotine is highly addictive. Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are harmful, and must be better regulated," said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2021, which focused on new and emerging products, was published on Tuesday and said ENDS should be tightly regulated for maximum public health protection.
"Where they are not banned, governments should adopt appropriate policies to protect their populations from the harms of ENDS, and to prevent their uptake by children, adolescents and other vulnerable groups," Tedros said.
The UN health agency’s eighth annual report said ENDS manufacturers often target youths with thousands of tantalising flavours -- the document listed 16,000 -- and reassuring statements. Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, the WHO’s global ambassador for non-communicable diseases, said there were still more than a billion smokers around the world.