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Support for e-cigarettes

ACADEMICS and public health experts have called on the World Health Organisation to refrain from "reducing the use" of e-cigarettes ahead of important international negotiations on their regulation later this year.

In a letter to Dr Margaret Chan, WHO director general, 50 experts said e-cigarettes 'could play a significant role' in driving down smoking. This comes ahead of negotiations later this year by WHO, which will look at differentiating between different tobacco products.

Thousands of Irish smokers have switched to e-cigarettes. The Department of Health is still looking at issues around them and will ban under-18s from purchasing e-cigarettes.

The letter, signed by academics across the world, reads: "If regulators treat low-risk nicotine products as traditional tobacco products and seek to reduce their use without recognising their potential as low-risk alternatives to smoking, they are improperly defining them as part of the problem."

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