E-cigarettes are “undoubtedly harmful,” according to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Although the specific level of risk associated with ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems) has not yet been conclusively estimated, ENDS are undoubtedly harmful and should therefore be subject to regulation,” the WHO wrote in its report.
The report, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, also highlighted that progress has been made in the fight against tobacco, but more action is needed such as raising taxes, enforcing bans on advertising, and protecting others from tobacco smoke.
The report showed that while only 23 countries have implemented cessation support policies at the highest level, 116 more provide fully or partially cost-covered services in some or most health facilities, and another 32 offer services but do not cost-cover them, demonstrating a high level of public demand for support to quit.
Tobacco use has also declined proportionately in most countries, but population growth means the total number of people using tobacco has remained high. Currently, there are an estimated 1.1 billion smokers, around 80 percent of whom live in low- and middle-income countries.