A group of scientists has written to the World Health Organisation (WHO) two days before World No Tobacco Day on May the 31st. The 53 scientists asked the WHO not to class e-cigarettes as a tobacco product. E-cigarettes are an aid to help people quit smoking. They do not have any tobacco inside them. Instead, they release a nicotine vapour that makes people feel like they are smoking. Many doctors say this is better for people's health than real cigarettes. The WHO wants countries to put e-cigarettes in the same category as real cigarettes. This means taxing them, banning advertising, introducing health warnings and stopping people from using them in public places.
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The group of scientists told the WHO that e-cigarettes are helping to reduce disease and deaths from smoking. The scientists said e-cigarettes are a "low-risk product" that are "part of the solution" in the fight against smoking, not part of the problem. They wrote: "These products could be among the most significant health innovations of the 21st century, perhaps saving hundreds of millions of lives. The urge to control…them as tobacco products should be resisted." However, researchers from the University of Chicago say e-cigarettes could encourage young people to smoke. They said: "It's possible that seeing e-cigarette use may promote more smoking behavior and less quitting."