The World Health Organization (WHO) issued its strongest warning yet against vaping, stating the habit harms developing teenage brains and can damage a growing fetus as well as increase the risk of heart disease and lung disorders.
The WHO warned there is “little evidence” that e-cigarettes help smokers quit smoking and that they may instead addict nonsmokers to nicotine.
The warnings come from a Q&A session on Twitter.
When asked if vapor devices were less dangerous than regular cigarettes, the WHO refused to give a definitive answer. “This depends on a range of factors, including the amount of nicotine and other toxicants in the heated liquids, but we know that e-cigarettes pose clear health risks and are by no means safe,” a WHO representative wrote.
The WHO’s stance contrasts that of Public Health England (PHE), which finds vaping to be 95 percent less risky than smoking. Commenting on the WHO’s tweets, John Newton, director for health improvement at PHE, said the agency was “continuing to review evidence of e-cigarettes.”
The WHO called for governments to consider taxing vapor products the same way they tax traditional tobacco products.