They claimed there were widespread rumor in social media that delegations of a few countries with little or no experience on the topic were driving an agenda at the global tobacco control conference here to prohibit electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) or e-cigarette.
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The experts, who have long advocated for evidence-based regulations on electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) or e-cigarette, said there is a clear public health benefit from having access to high-quality, appropriately regulated ENDS product.
They argued that a growing body of evidence is now showing that ENDS is substantially less harmful than combustible tobacco products and has helped millions of individuals to quit, thus substantially reducing their risk of smoking-related diseases.
"There is a clear public health benefit from having access to high-quality, appropriately regulated ENDS product," they said in a statement.
The experts, including Julian Morris of Reason Foundation, Konstantinos Farsalinos, Riccardo Polosa and Christopher Russell, said, "Such a course of action would be a huge mistake and do untold harm to millions of smokers. We hope these rumours are untrue and do not reflect the current climate and the real intentions of WHO COP7 delegates."
"ENDS represent the greatest opportunity in generations to prevent and reduce the harm of smoking," the statement said.
India is hosting the Seventh Session of the Conference of Parties (COP7) to World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) for the first time.
Meanwhile, health experts in India have said that for e-cigarette to become a "promising alternative" nicotine replacement therapy, there is a need for further research on its long-term health effects and putting in place regulations to limit its sale to adults only.
M Siddiqi, the chairman of the Cancer Foundation of India in Kolkata, and R N Sharan, Professor of Biochemistry at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, had recently written to Health Minister J P Nadda regarding the issue.
They argued that e-cigarettes could provide a safer and familiar way of meeting the physiological demands of nicotine to smokers, thus, helping them quit or cut down significantly on cigarette smoking.
"We, believe that ENDS to become a promising alternative NRT, there is an immediate need of further research on its long-term health effects. Furthermore, regulation should be put in place for quality controls and limiting its sale to adults only," they had said in the letter.(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)