The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) has voiced serious concerns over the potential dangers of e-cigarettes and says they should not be promoted as smoking cessation aids.
The warning comes amid an ongoing outbreak of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) in the United States which has affected more than 2,000 people and has led to more than 40 deaths.
This week, the CPME, which represents national medical associations across Europe, adopted a new policy statement on novel tobacco and nicotine products in which it says it is “highly concerned” about the health risks of these emerging products.
It points out that while e-cigarettes are often promoted as conventional smoking cessation aids, the “scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid is limited, making it difficult to draw credible conclusions."
It urged European doctors to follow the latest independent research on the health effects of novel tobacco and nicotine products and said they should also inform patients about the health risks associated with e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. Furthermore, the CPME says physicians should “influence central and local authorities to reduce accessibility to all tobacco and nicotine products, especially by young people."