Giving up smoking and switching to electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), otherwise called vaping, is not a healthy choice.
The seventh "WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic" stated that blocking the industry's interference was crucial to cutting the harm from tobacco use.
The popularity of e-cigarettes among today's youngsters is on the rise. These battery-powered vaping devices that allow users to inhale addictive nicotine liquids has also increased fears among policymakers.
A variety of flavored e-cigarettes, such as fruit, candy, menthol, and tobacco, often tempt more teens than adults. Thus, daily e-cigarette use has the potential to create a new generation of nicotine-addicted adults.
The report stated that tobacco giant Philip Morris International was striving to place itself as a responsible public health partner through its 'Unsmoke' campaign, which motivates people to 'change to a better alternative.'
The WHO said the campaign aimed to ensure tobacco remained socially acceptable, while confusing consumers with terms like 'smoke-free products,' which may refer to products with toxic emissions and unknown short-term and long-term health outcomes.
Philip Morris spokesman Ryan Sparrow said the WHO's message made it more difficult to provide safer alternatives for people who cannot quit smoking.
"There is no question that the best choice for smokers is to quit cigarettes and nicotine altogether. The reality is many people do not. We cannot turn our backs on them," he said. "Organizations like the World Health Organization need to stop talking at smokers and start listening."