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    Posted September 19, 2014 by

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    How safe are e-cigarettes? E-cig safety debated after WHO report


    Years ago, if you mentioned a word like “e-cigarettes,” you’d probably get blank stares from folks wondering what you were talking about. These days, news about the vaping practice is heating up Google News reports with debates over the conundrum that they’ve brought due to the rapid growth of e-cigarette stores.


    There even exists a website with an online e-cigs guide that promises to act as an impartial reviewer of all the electronic cigarette brands, cartridges and more, asking relevant questions like, “Should you vape around your children?”


    So let’s take a look at some of the most pressing issues regarding the practice, and try and uncover if it’s truly safe or the lesser of many evils:


    Modestly effective at helping smokers quit, but e-cigs entice new users


    The Washington Post reports that while the biggest trial about e-cigs discovered that they were only a little more effective than the nicotine patch at helping folks who already smoke quit the habit – e-cigs enjoyed quit rates of 7.3% versus the patch’s 5.8% -- the danger lay in the fact that big tobacco companies have simply shifted into the e-cig industry.


    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that nearly 300,000 young school-aged children who’d never smoked a cigarette previously have tried e-cigs, an alarming triple-rate increase from a couple of years prior.


    E-cig safety: Guilty until proven harmless


    While certain retailers jumping on the e-cigarette money bandwagon claim that their products are safer because they are providing customers with the nicotine they crave minus the harmful tar, experts are pumping the brakes on such claims.


    The medical journal The Lancet claimed there wasn’t enough evidence yet to go bragging about the safety of e-cigs, says ABC News, and The American Lung Association has been putting pressure on the FDA to catch up with all the e-cig distributors and sellers by putting regulations on the products.


    The American Cancer Society points to lessons from the past, whereby modified cigarettes that intended to be safer created greater harm in the end.


    The World Health Organization’s report warns e-cigs can act as a gateway to real smoking



    A recent report commission by the WHO has really struck a nerve in the industry, and while some claim the report contained “alarmist” language, others are giving it a cautionary eye.


    Reuters UK reports that the background paper from the WHO urged that it should be made more difficult for e-cig suppliers to hawk their wares to the vulnerable public, and put out a clarion call for e-cigarettes to be banned from the ability to use them indoors, a stop to having them advertised and strict regulations to prevent the sale of such items to children.


    Opponents claim that the WHO neglected to mention that e-cigs are allegedly safer than traditional cigarettes, citing the notion that the former products aren’t a threat to others due to no secondhand smoke issues.


    With the e-cig market heating up daily, this debate will rage on.

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