On October 18, 2021 the World Heart Federation released a policy brief “E-cigarettes: A new threat to cardiovascular health,” (press release) that provides an overview of the evidence that e-cigarette use has a wide range of adverse effects on the cardiovascular system that are reflected as an increased risk of heart attack at a population level. The WHF also concludes that e-cigarettes are not an effective smoking cessation tool and highlights the risks of dual use (i.e., continuing to smoke cigarettes while adding e-cigarettes, a common use pattern).
The report is written for a broad audience, explaining the evidence in simple terms rather than scientific jargon.
WHF calls for strict regulation of e-cigarettes and greater oversight of the industry’s marketing:
- Prohibit the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes to minors, as well as the use of flavouring agents
- Prohibit the use of e-cigarettes anywhere tobacco cigarettes have been banned
- Prohibit marketing, advertising, and misleading claims regarding e-cigarettes
- Apply excise taxes on e-cigarettes
- Conduct more research regarding the long-term effects of e-cigarettes on cardiovascular health
WHF also recommends that
- Countries that have banned the commercialization of e-cigarettes should maintain these measures.
The British e-cigarette sales website Totally Wicked reported that as of August 2021 47 countries had banned the important and sale of e-cigarettes. An earlier WHO report (Tables 2.1.1 through 2,1.6) listed 32 countries.