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WHO calls for partial e-cigarette ban

It also suggested banning aromatic flavors that could lure children into using the product.

By
Ed Adamczyk
Electronic e-cigarettes and other tobacco products are on display inside a store in New York City. UPI/John Angelillo
Electronic e-cigarettes and other tobacco products are on display inside a store in New York City. UPI/John Angelillo | License Photo

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.

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"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."

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The WHO report, and the regulations it recommends, will be reviewed in October at a conference in Moscow.

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