WHO publishes report on the impact of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products

28 September 2021

Article: 55/3909

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a report on novel and emerging tobacco products, exploring the harm caused by toxic ingredients and nicotine exposure, and examining how these products are marketed to potential users, including children and adolescents. The tobacco products examined in the report include electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), electronic non-nicotine delivery systems (ENNDS), and heated tobacco products (HTPs).

One of the main recommendations made by the WHO is for policy-makers to maintain focus on evidence-based measures to reduce tobacco use, as outlined in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, including novel and emerging tobacco products.

The report also recommends: 

  • to apply the most restrictive tobacco control regulations to HTPs, including the devices, as appropriate under national laws, taking into account a high level of protection for human health 
  • to prohibit all manufacturers and associated groups from making claims about reduced harm of HTPs, as compared to other products 
  • to ensure that the public is well informed about the risks associated with using HTPs, including the risks of dual use with conventional cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products 
  • to rely on and support independent data and research on the health impact of using heated tobacco products 
  • to require tobacco manufacturers to disclose all product information 
  • to ban all commercial marketing of e-cigarettes and HTPs, including social media and through organisations funded by, and associated with, the tobacco industry 
  • to prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes, in which the user can control device features and liquid ingredients 
  • to prohibit the addition of pharmacologically active substances, such as cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinol, in jurisdictions where they are legal, to e-cigarettes

Source: WHO, 22 September 2021