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The WHO is concerned that tobacco companies are luring in non-smokers with their vaping products, many of whom are underage. They argue that by strengthening legislation across the world, young people can be further protected from harm. The WHO is also concerned that vaping products are acting as an entry point into the world of cigarettes, which do contain tobacco. A new study found that young people who have vaped are more than twice as likely to smoke a traditional cigarette. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director of the WHO, is in favour of regulations  so as to “prevent their uptake by children, adolescents and other vulnerable groups.” Interest in the cause had led to a proposed ban on all vaping products to under-18’s in Ireland, although the bill has yet to be finalised in in the country. This comes as a 2019 survey from the European Schools Project on Alcohol and other Drugs discovered that over a third (39%) of 15-16 year olds had tried vaping at least once. There has been pushback to the WHO’s agenda, however. Professor John Britton of the University of Nottingham is weary the organisation’s push when he says there are distinct differences between a nicotine addiction and a tobacco addiction. The former is not deemed nearly as deadly as the latter. Britton argues that e-cigarettes are “part of the solution, not the problem.”

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