UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- The World Health Organization called for a ban on indoor use of e-cigarettes in a report released Tuesday.
The United Nations organization also suggested banning flavoring in e-cigarettes offering aromas like strawberry and licorice, that could appeal to children. According to WHO, the devices, which replicate cigarette smoking by converting liquid nicotine into an inhalable vapor, are a risk to nearby non-users.
"Existing evidence shows that (e-cigarette) aerosol is not merely 'water vapor' as is often claimed in the marketing for these products. (E-cigarette) use poses serious threats to adolescents and fetuses. In addition, it increases exposure of non-smokers and bystanders to nicotine and a number of toxicants," the report says.
The organization called for standardization in the $3 billion industry that would restrict advertising and prevent unproven claims that e-cigarettes are safer than tobacco. The industry now has about 450 different brands, many sold by large tobacco companies.
WHO is the latest agency to disparage e-cigarettes. The American Heart Association has also called for regulation of the product, saying Monday it is "fiercely committed to preventing the tobacco industry from addicting another generation of smokers."
The WHO report, and the regulations it recommends, will be reviewed in October at a conference in Moscow.