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E-cigarettes 'could save hundreds of millions of lives'

E-cigarettes have the potential to save "hundreds of millions of lives" by cutting smoking rates, a group of scientists have claimed in a letter to the World Health Organisation.

The experts want to make sure e-cigarettes are not classified in the same way as tobacco products such as cigarettes.

Such a move could lead to restrictive measures including higher taxes, bans on e-cigarette advertising and restrictions on their use in public places.

Their letter reads: "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 and suppress them as tobacco products should be resisted."

Read: Scientists urge WHO not to clamp down on e-cigarettes

Scientists urge WHO not to clamp down on e-cigarettes

A group of 53 leading scientists has written to the World Health Organisation (WHO) urging the body not to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products.

The experts say e-cigarettes are "part of the solution" in the fight against smoking-related diseases and their use should not be discouraged.

The scientists say health policymakers should not be trying to restrict the use of e-cigarettesl Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Leaked documents from a WHO meeting suggest the organisation sees e-cigarettes as a "threat" and wants them bracketed along with other products containing nicotine, including regular cigarettes.

Read: E-Cigarettes: An end to smoking or the start of a new age?

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WHO official takes swipe at MSF over Ebola severity

The Head of PR for the World Health Organisation (WHO) has taken to Twitter to downplay the severity of the current Ebola virus in Guinea, with Médecins Sans Frontières.

MSF started by tweeting that this type of Ebola virus "kills 9 out of every 10 patients," before Gregory Härtl of WHO jumped in and told them not to "exaggerate."

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#Ebola in Guinea: "This is the most deadly strain of Ebola virus. It kills 9 out of 10 patients." http://t.co/a9DUuuBsQi

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.@msf Don't exaggerate. #Ebola can kill up to 90% of those infected and in this particular outbreak fatality rate is less than 67%. #Ebola

Härtl continued to the discuss the issues with other followers, especially the issue of travel bans and airports.

Read more: Ebola is a 'regional threat' say West African ministers

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.@_jgarcia1 @who Impossible. You want to disrupt the economic life of a country, a region becuz of 130 suspect and confirmed cases? #Ebola

More: 'Unprecedented' outbreak of Ebola in Guinea kills at least 78

Surprising foods packed with sugar

Consumers are being urged to cut their sugar intake to 5% per day by the World Health Organisation.

Health campaigners Action on Sugar have warned some foods are deceptive about the amount of sugar they contained.

  • Some fat free yoghurt can contain up to five teaspoons of refined sugar
  • Tomato based pasta sauce was found to have three teaspoons of sugar per jar
  • One tablespoon of shop bought white coleslaw was found to have four teaspoons of sugar
  • "Enhanced" or flavoured water was found to have as much as 15g of sugar
  • Some processed bread was found to have as much as 3g of sugar

Read: Health experts back halving of sugar consumption

Health experts back halving of sugar consumption

Health experts have backed a move by the World Health Organisation to reduce sugar intake from 10 per cent to 5 per cent of total energy intake per day.

Experts have backed the WHO's plans to recommend halving daily sugar consumption
Experts have backed the WHO's plans to recommend halving daily sugar consumption Credit: Thomas Eisenhuth/DPA/Press Association Images

The WHO has argued that halving sugar intake would bring "additional health benefits", but experts have called on the WHO to make their 5 per cent recommendation official - it is currently only a draft proposal.

Experts have also criticised the UK government for its handling of the food and drinks industry, which is currently only required to sign up to voluntary codes on sugar levels.

Read: WHO warns sugar intake should be halved

Health experts warn sugar intake should be halved

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that people should cut their sugar intake in half.

The WHO has warned that sugar consumption levels should be halved
The WHO has warned that sugar consumption levels should be halved Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The WHO currently recommends a daily intake of 50g for adults - equivalent to about six level teaspoons - but is drafting recommendations that this should be halved.

The proposals follow warnings from England's chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, that a "sugar tax" may be needed to reduce sugar levels in food and drink.

Read: Sugar tax may be necessary, warns medical chief

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E-cigarette toxins 'not adequately researched'

"The science around the safety of E-cigarettes has not been demonstrated," the World Health Organisation's Glenn Thomas told ITV's Tonight.

"We still need more research to know and understand what sort of impact on health.. these E-cigarettes are having."

"We know that a lot of the toxins which are consumed through E-cigarettes have not been adequately researched," he added.

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