GENEVA – The U.N. health agency says electronic cigarettes should be regulated and banned from use indoors until the exhaled vapor is proven not to harm bystanders.
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The World Health Organization also calls for a ban on sales to minors of the popular nicotine-vapor products, and to either forbid or keep to a minimum any advertising, promotion or sponsorship.
In a report Tuesday, the Geneva-based agency said the "apparently booming" $3 billion global market for more than 400 brands of e-cigarettes is increasingly becoming a competition between independent companies and transnational tobacco companies aggressively muscling for market share.
The report is to be discussed at a WHO conference on controlling tobacco in October.
The American Heart Association backs the battery-powered devices that vaporize nicotine as a last resort to help smokers quit.