Dutch lung doctors want ban on e-cigarettes

Dutch pulmonologists want the government to completely ban e-cigarettes in the country. "We don't want any more e-cigarettes coming into the Netherlands", Leon van den Toorn, chairman of the Dutch association for doctors specializing in pulmonary diseases and tuberculosis NVLAT, said in an interview with newspaper AD.

According to Van den Toorn, there are multiple "worrying developments" around e-cigarettes. At least eight Dutch people have reported to lung doctors with complaints sustained after using e-cigarettes, he said. One of them ended up in intensive care. 

E-cigarettes were discussed at the European pulmonologist congress in Madrid last week, Van den Toorn said to the newspaper. "It turned out that we cannot recommend the e-cigarette under any circumstances", he said. "The frequently heard comment that the e-cigarette is 95 percent less harmful is not based on any scientific evidence. It seems that only a few people manage to quit smoking this way."

State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health told AD that he wants to incorporate NVLAT's findings in an ongoing investigation into the health risks posed by e-cigarettes. But he stressed that he can't simply ban the devices. "I also have to deal with European rules, for example", the State Secretary said. "But I want to do everything we can to further reduce smoking and e-smoking."