WHO conference in Uruguay on e-cigarettes makes little sense

Statements by the WHO/Anti-smoking organisations on the electronic cigarette from a conference in Uruagay appear to make little sense.

Quit smoking aid?

“The electronic cigarette is presented as an instrument certified to quit smoking but there is no scientific evidence to support this assertion,” said Eduardo Bianco.

What we say (and other responsible suppliers) say on our front page:

Please note that the electronic cigarette is not yet recognised or approved by the MHRA as a successful Nicotine Replacement Therapy in the UK. Clinical trials have taken place in New Zealand using the electronic cigarette as an aid to smoking cessation, but do not conclusively prove that the electronic nicotine delivery device can aid nicotine cessation. The electronic cigarette is a way to take nicotine on demand, at the desired strength, without using tobacco and its associated chemicals and tar.

But the WHO conference claims it could be a useful tool to quit:

“Nobody says that electronic cigarettes can not be a useful tool to help smokers quit, but there is simply no evidence that this is an effective method,” concludes McGoldrick, Tobacco of the NGO- Free Kids.

So, it could help people to quit, but we don’t know for sure, so let’s ban it?

Annoying non-smokers?

Electronic cigarettes “are sold to smokers so they can use them in places where it is forbidden to smoke,” complains Danny McGoldrick.

What are you trying to say here? Smokers can’t use things which don’t make smoke in places where it is forbidden to smoke? Are you going to ban gum next? What about drink? Or why not just ban smokers altogether?

Sign forbidding smokers from enter a hospital room.
Banning smokers, not smoking.


“Nicotine is a highly addictive drug and what they use to convey nicotine is propylene glycol, a toxic substance to humans,” he adds .

Hmm, propylene glycol is so toxic that it is used in drinking water, medicines, cosmetics and air-conditioners. Hey, if you can’t win an argument on the facts why not just tell lies!

And what about the facts? That the electronic cigarette risks billions of dollars in revenue to governments, tobacco companies and the pharmaceutical industry? Best not mentioned.

2 thoughts on “WHO conference in Uruguay on e-cigarettes makes little sense”

  1. Let’s not forget that propylene glycol was used in making the icing on Princess Diana’s wedding cake. That makes it a lot less scary than some of the other propaganda out there!!

  2. For me the biggies are that:

    1. Propylene glycol is used in drinking water (as an anti-freeze, so the antis are correct in that!)
    2. It has been used to sterilise the air in children’s hospital’s wards.

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