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In preparation for the Conference of the Parties of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control meeting in India next month a report was prepared for WHO on Electronic Nicotine Delivery Devices (ENDS) and related products. The report is available online at: http://www.who.int/fctc/cop/cop7/FCTC_COP_7_11_EN.pdf

John Britton, director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, together with colleagues has prepared a response to the WHO report, which can be read in full here.

John Britton said: "In our view the WHO report takes a somewhat unbalanced view of ENDS, in particular by failing to consider or discuss the potential of these products to complement tobacco control policy by providing smokers who have proved unwilling or unable to quit smoking with an effective and far less harmful means of consuming nicotine. Experience in the UK indicates that the availability of electronic cigarettes is proving beneficial to public health. It is important that these benefits, as well as potential risks, are assessed objectively in the formulation of WHO policy."

Let's hope that that is a message that the UK delegation, whoever they may be, will take to COP7.