Saturday October 20, 2018

New Heated Tobacco To Be Regulated As A Other Tobacco Products

World Health Organization notes that illnesses related to regular tobacco products prematurely kill more than 7 million people every year.

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tobacco, WHO
This is a diagram of R.J. Reynolds' Eclipse cigarette, which featured a carbon tip that was lit, heating the tobacco instead of burning it. The product did not do well during market tests; it was rebranded as Revo but still failed to catch on with consumers. The product is no longer listed on the company's website. VOA
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Delegates from 148 parties to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control are calling for new heated tobacco products on the market to be regulated in the same way cigarettes and other tobacco products are.

Heated tobacco products (HTPs) are not e-cigarettes. They are products that contain nicotine and other chemicals, which are inhaled by users, through the mouth. The tobacco industry markets these devices as being less harmful than regular cigarettes.

But the head of the convention secretariat, Vera da Costa e Silva, said there was no evidence that HTPs are less harmful than conventional tobacco products. She said they are tobacco products in the same way as cigarettes and should be subject to the same regulations imposed on standard tobacco products under the treaty.

tobacco
E-cigarettes is considered to be safer than tobacco cigarettes. Pixabay

“Governments should implement … a ban on advertisement, promotion and sponsorship” of heated tobacco products, da Costa said. “Parties to the treaty are legally bound to the provisions of the treaty and they should regulate heated tobacco accordingly.”

Da Costa told VOA the tobacco industry is marketing heated tobacco products as a harm-reduction strategy. She said many are sold with flavors, which appeal to young people. For now, she said, the products are mainly being marketed in developed countries.

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The worldwide prevalence of tobacco smoking has decreased from 27 percent in 2000 to 20 percent in 2016, so progress has been made. Pixabay

“But they are already being marketed very aggressively with high lobbying, and there are many, many concerns,” she said. “Lots of concerns raised by African countries, Latin American countries, Asian countries that do not feel they are prepared for this epidemic of heated tobacco products.”

Also Read: Usage of E-cigarettes In American Teens Have Reached ‘Epidemic Proportions’: FDA

Da Costa said evidence is accumulating that the nicotine inhaled from HTPs is unhealthy, causing dependence and disease. The long-term health impact from vaping is not yet clear. But the World Health Organization notes illnesses related to regular tobacco products prematurely kill more than 7 million people every year. (VOA)

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Ebola Not A Global Health Emergency: WHO

WHO advised DRC's nine neighboring countries that they were at high risk of having the disease spread into their territories

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An emergency committee convened by the World Health Organization has decided that the Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo does not constitute a public health emergency of international concern.

The WHO said Wednesday that 216 cases of Ebola and 139 deaths had been reported, and its International Health Regulations Emergency Committee said the outbreak was a matter of serious concern, especially since it is occurring in an area of conflict in eastern DRC. It said this posed problems for health workers who need to move around freely and track people who are infected with the virus and need treatment.

But the committee said that one reason it did not regard the outbreak as a global threat was that the virus had not spread into neighboring countries.

Congo,ebola
A Congolese health worker administers Ebola vaccine to a boy who had contact with an Ebola sufferer in the village of Mangina in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. VOA

Committee Chairman Robert Steffan said the international response to the outbreak had been very good. He said WHO and other agencies had achieved quite a lot since the outbreak was declared Aug. 1. In fact, he said the disease was being brought under control in North Kivu province.

The disease is flaring up in another province, and the response is being concentrated in this area, he said, “so we do have some optimism that this outbreak, just like the one in May, will be brought under control within reasonable time.”

Steffan said the committee agreed that declaring an international emergency at this time would hinder efforts to contain the Ebola virus. He said a declaration would have implications for travel and trade, making it difficult for needed experts and supplies to access the affected areas.

Ebola, WHO
A health care worker from the World Health Organization, left, gives an Ebola vaccination to a front line aid worker who will then vaccinate people who might potentially have the virus, in Mbandaka, Congo. VOA

However, as a precaution, WHO recommended exit screenings, including at airports, ports and land crossings. But it noted that entry screenings, particularly in distant airports, would have no public health benefit and would be costly.

Also Read: North Kivu And Ituri, Congo To Welcome More Than 80,000 Children In This New School Year

WHO advised DRC’s nine neighboring countries that they were at high risk of having the disease spread into their territories, and it said it was supporting them with equipment and personnel. It said these preparedness activities were expensive and would require substantial financial support from the international community. (VOA)