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WHO downplays e-cigarettes as smoking cessation aid

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By Analou de Vera

World Health Organization (WHO) Representative to the Philippines Dr. Gundo Weiler said that it is still not clear if electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are an effective smoking cessation aid.

A man puffs an electronic cigarette or E-Cigarette at a street in Quezon City, July 14, 2017. (Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)

A man puffs an electronic cigarette or E-Cigarette at a street in Quezon City, July 14, 2017.
(Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)

“There are also claims that e-cigarettes lead to reduction in smoking. It is not so clear at this point whether indeed along the line people will have less consumption of tobacco because of those products,” said Weiler.

“They might stop, but they may also start using that, and then later switch to tobacco use. There are a lot of factors,” he added.

The WHO official said that there still no definitive findings with regard to e-cigarettes.

“So far, we have not yet completed the determination exactly what are their health effects because these are products that have never been used before,” said Weiler.

“In the meantime, I think we clearly call for the regulation of the product and for all to exercise a cautious approach towards e-cigarettes and similar devices,” he added.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that heat e-liquids to produce aerosols that users inhale by mimicking the act of smoking.

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