GENEVA (AA) – E-cigarettes have been classed as a threat to public health by the World Health Organization.
In a report issued on Tuesday, the United Nations health agency called for an end to claims e-cigarettes could help smokers give up the habit, as well as for a ban on their use indoors.
Douglas Bettcher, the organization’s director for the prevention of noncommunicable diseases, said: “The WHO report shows that electronic cigarettes and similar devices pose threats to public health.”
Speaking in Geneva, he also called for a ban on sales of the devices to children.
Armando Peruga, who manages the organization’s Tobacco Free Initiative, said e-cigarettes included substances hazardous to human health and spoke out against the use of fruit, sweet and alcohol flavors in the devices.
The report will be discussed by member countries in October.
Electronic cigarettes have become increasingly popular since they were introduced in China in 2005.
The cigarette is a battery-powered vaporizer which simulates smoking by producing an aerosol that resembles smoke. It generally uses a heating element to vaporize a liquid containing propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings.
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