PARIS — Governments should ban the use of electronic cigarettes indoors and in public places and tactics to lure young users, the World Health Organization said in a report released on Tuesday. It also raised concerns about the role of big tobacco companies in the fast-growing market.
Considering the numerous uncertainties surrounding e-cigarettes, which have been on the market for less than a decade, the United Nations organization said it was appropriate to prohibit their use indoors “until exhaled vapour is proven to be not harmful to bystanders.”
It also called for regulation to ensure the products contain a standard dose of nicotine, as the drug content now varies widely between manufacturers. And to stop children from picking up the habit, it said that e-cigarette sales to minors should be banned and that fruity, candy-type flavorings should be prohibited.
The report, which summarizes the growing body of evidence on the health impact of electronic cigarettes, was prepared by the World Health Organization for the United Nations Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, to be held in mid-October in Moscow. The organization has no power to enforce its recommendations, but delegates to the meeting could, in theory, endorse the measures for inclusion in a treaty or call for yet more studies before taking further action. One wild card hanging over the meeting is the tense political standoff between Russia and the West over the crisis in Ukraine, which could hamper international cooperation.