Financial News

  • 27 August 2014, 12:42

Call For E-Cigarettes To Be Banned Indoors

The World Health Organisation is recommending a ban on using e-cigarettes in public indoor spaces because of fears over second-hand smoke.

In a long-awaited report, the UN health body voiced concern about the control of the $3bn (£1.8bn) market by the traditional 'Big Tobacco' giants.

The report calls for tougher regulation and measures, including a ban on the sale of the electrical devices to minors - warning that they pose a "serious threat" to foetuses and youths.

It also says e-cigarette solutions with fruit, sweet-like and alcohol-based flavours - which may appeal to children - should be taken off the shelves and vending machines should be removed in almost all locations.

The ban on indoors use should be put in place "until exhaled vapour is proven to be not harmful to bystanders," the group said.

The WHO also said e-cigarette makers should be prevented from making health claims - like they help people quit smoking - until they provide "convincing supporting scientific evidence and obtain regulatory approval".

The report also said the "smoke" from e-cigarettes is not merely water vapour, as is often claimed, and action should be taken to cut levels of nicotine and other toxicants and the risk of bystanders inhaling them.

The report will be debated by UN member states at a meeting in Moscow in October.

The WHO launched a public health campaign against tobacco a decade ago, agreeing the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2005. 

It has been ratified by 179 states but the US has not joined it.

The treaty recommends price and tax measures to curb demand as well as bans on tobacco advertising and the illicit trade in tobacco products.

Prior to Tuesday's report the WHO had indicated it would favour applying similar restrictions to all products containing nicotine, including smokeless ones.