Scientists warn against classifying e-cigarettes as tobacco products.

A group of 53 leading scientists have warned the World Health Organization (WHO) against classifying e-cigarettes as tobacco products, because they believe that doing so would prevent an opportunity to slash disease and deaths caused by tobacco smoking each year.

While the UN Agency is currently assessing its position on the matter, it has previously stated it would favor applying similar restrictions to all nicotine-containing products. While e-cigarettes contain no tobacco, they do contain varying doses of nicotine depending on the liquid.

Should e-cigarettes become classified under the same umbrella as regular cigarettes countries would be forced to take similar tough measures to restrict demand. That would include raising taxes, banning advertising, introducing health warnings and curbing use in public places.

Kingsley Wheaton, director of corporate and regulatory affairs at British American Tobacco, said, “Classifying e-cigarettes as tobacco products would mean smokers find it harder to access a less risky alternative.”

“At this point the only thing I can say is that we are elaborating these regulations and they will soon be available to you,” Armando Peruga, program manager for the WHO’s Tobacco Free Initiative told reporters this week.

Do you think e-cigarettes should be regulated the same way traditional tobacco cigarettes are? Let us know how you feel in the comment section below.