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.
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.
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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.