Although factual figures cannot be quoted to assess the actual damage, the World Health Organisation have issued a report presented in Rio de Janeiro with a clear warning: they are " undeniably harmful, although probably less toxic than cigarettes" and should be regulated.
They admits, however, that the risk remains unquantifiable and of unknown magnitude. “They are products that ave become a gateway for tobacco for young people. Our recommendation to governments is to treat and regulate them as conventional tobacco products.” says the head of the Tobacco Control Unit of WHO Vinayak Prasad.
The document contains more than 200 pages that show that WHO is concerned about new electronic products marketed as “stop smoking aids”. Their conclusions are simple: "Although some of these products emit fewer emissions than conventional cigarettes, they are not without risks and their long-term impact on health and mortality is still unknown."
The organization makes the difference between hot tobacco and electronic cigarettes also called SEAN (electronic nicotine delivery systems). The latter consists of inhaling vapours created by heating a liquid at high temperature most of the time containing nicotine. Heated tobacco is a product of tobacco and, therefore, he says, replacing cigarettes with this process cannot mean stopping.