The World Health Organization (WHO) has historically taken a hard line against electronic cigarettes and been hesitant to tolerate them, much less offer any kind of endorsements. But former WHO health expert, Dr. Derek Yach, believes it’s time for that to change. Yach now serves as the head of the Vitality Institute and he is encouraging doctors around the world to learn about ecigs and recommend them to patients who are still using tobacco cigarettes.
“I think we are at the stage where we have sufficient evidence to be comfortable that (for) a smoker who wants to quit or reduce their exposure to tobacco products, using an e-cigarette is a good choice,” Yach said.
He made it clear that he would like to see regulation, but he doesn’t believe regulators should be targeting electronic cigarette companies. Instead, they should be going after big tobacco with guns blazing. Ecig regulation should be confined to a glorified quality control to insure that every vape is reliable and will be effective so smokers have the best chance of staying tobacco-free.
While not everyone shares Yach’s point of view, it does seem that other world health experts are beginning to reconsider electronic cigarettes. Yussef Saloojee, the executive director for the National Council Against Smoking, also admitted that he thought ecigs could potentially help smokers. However, he is still unsure if doctors should recommend them because he has further questions about safety. Saloojee would like to see ecigs sold in pharmacies so they can be carefully monitored and insure people are using them as intended – for smoking cessation.
Ultimately, having some support from a former WHO official is a big deal and it shows that the tides are slowly shifting. Ecigs are not the enemy and people are starting to see that vaping has some real potential to help smokers quit.