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E-cigarettes & the WHO
Thursday, 04 September 2014 00:07

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently published a report calling for a ban on the use of electronic cigarettes indoors, as well as restrictions on e-cigarette advertising and sales to minors.  The report also calls for regulations on the contents of e-cigarettes and raised concerns over the interests of major tobacco companies, which have begun to command a greater share of a market that saw $3 billion in sales last year.


The report comes following the American Heart Association statement that e-cigarettes could be used to help people quit smoking.  Health experts are divided on the benefits and potential harms of using e-cigarettes.  Some are saying they could save lives by turning people away from traditional cigarettes and others warn that they could 'renormalise' smoking and encourage youths to pick up the habit.  But both the AHA and WHO agree that stronger regulations are needed with each organisation raising concerns over how the products are marketed.  The AHA also said that they should be regulated under existing rules for tobacco products.


In its report, the WHO also calls for a ban on fruity and candy-flavoured e-cigarette products that may appeal to minors.  It also suggested that governments regulate the health claims that some manufacturers are making in the absence of strong empirical evidence and recommended bans on vending machines in most places.  The organisation added that e-cigarettes expose non-smokers and bystanders to nicotine and that evidence suggests that their emissions are not merely water vapour as many believe.


This report was published as part of the WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

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