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WHO report gives misleading view on e-cigarettes, say experts

Published on Sep 5, 2014 8:58 AM

LONDON (REUTERS) - A World Health Organisation-commisioned review of e-cigarettes contains errors, misinterpretations and misrepresentations, meaning policymakers may miss their potential health benefits, a group of tobacco addiction experts said.

In a critique of the WHO's background paper on e-cigarettes, which acted as a blueprint for a WHO report last month calling for more regulation of the devices, the experts said its evaluation of the evidence was inaccurate.

"I was shocked and surprised when I read it," Ann McNeill, a researchers at the national addiction centre at King's College London, told reporters at a briefing. "I felt it was an inaccurate portrayal of the evidence on e-cigarettes."

The uptake of e-cigarettes, which use battery-powered cartridges to produce a nicotine-laced vapour, has rocketed in the past two years, but there is fierce debate about their potential risks and benefits.

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