E-cigarettes could save lives, WHO told

With tobacco smoke claiming a life every six seconds, the tar-free electronic alternative could help prevent much of the stroke, cancer and heart and lung disease caused by the toxins in traditional cigarettes, the experts wrote in an open letter to WHO chief Dr Margaret Chan.

In a declaration of interests attached to the letter, none of the signatories said they had received funding from tobacco companies. However, 22 have conducted research on e-cigarettes or consulted pharmaceutical companies that produce other smoking cessation products. 

The Australian signatories declared no conflicts of interest. 

They are Professor Ron Borland, a fellow at the School of Population Health at the University of Melbourne; Dr Coral Gartner, senior research fellow at the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research; Dr Nigel Gray, member of the Special Advisory Committee on Tobacco Regulation of the World Health Organization; Professor Wayne