Following several deaths in the US linked to e-cigarettes, the Danish health authority, Sundhedsstyrelsen, has taken an official stance on the matter.
Sundhedsstyrelsen now recommends that everyone should avoid e-cigarettes, but particularly children, youth and women who are pregnant or nursing.
“Nobody should be smoking e-cigarettes, so we clearly urge all children, young people and those who are pregnant or breast feeding to avoid it. The reason is the collective amount of knowledge about the damaging effects,” Niels Sandø, a Sundhedsstyrelsen spokesperson, told Politiken newspaper.
“We don’t know the long-term impact of smoking e-cigarettes on a daily basis yet, but there is no doubt that they are hazardous to our health. The future will show how damaging they are, but that’s also why we are concerned.”
Tentative tobacco firms
Sundhedsstyrelsen took it a step further by recommending that people who already inhale e-cigarettes – alone or in combination with standard tobacco products – should also quit.
But while the tobacco companies support the recommendations for the initial group that includes children and pregnant women, they don’t concur with the latter distinction.
”E-cigarettes aren’t healthy – the healthy choice is always to avoid any form of nicotine and tobacco consumption. It’s a health hazard, but one that is significantly less than normal cigarettes,” Tine Marie Andersen, the head of tobacco advocacy organisation Tobaksproducenterne, told Politiken.