Earlier this year, UK public health experts hit back strongly after a WHO statement that e-cigarettes were harmful to health and not safe, Science magazine reported.
Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London, said the WHO’s history of anti-vaping activism was “damaging its reputation”, the magazine reported.
“There is no evidence that vaping is ‘highly addictive’. Less than 1% of non-smokers become regular vapers,” said Hajer, adding that vaping did not lead young people to smoking and that smoking among young people was at an all-time low.
The panel agreed that using the correct vocabulary was critical to removing any lingering confusion around vaping.
“Words matter,” said discussion moderator Dr Delon Human, the chair and co-founder of the African Harm Reduction Alliance (AHRA). “The names, the vocabulary that we use to call products is extremely important as vaping is merely the category of products.”
To that end, the panel welcomed the using the word “nicotine” to describe ENDS.
The panel also agreed that governments needed to carry out detailed surveys to get real data that reflected risks and net population benefits.
The next “vaping conversation” webinar takes place at the end of October.