WHO Pushing for Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes

Posted on behalf of Gordon & Doner on Sep 02, 2014 in Consumer Alerts


WHO Pushing for Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes

The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for stricter regulations on electronic cigarettes, including a ban on indoor use, and advertising and sales to minors.

According to a report on e-cigarettes, the WHO believes that e-cigarettes and similar devices could pose a threat to public health. E-cigarettes use battery powered cartridges to produce a nicotine-laced vapor; sales of these products has exponentially increased over the past two years.

Unfortunately, their novelty means there is a lack of long-term scientific information on how it can impact a users health. The European Union has agreed to requirements on advertising and packing e-cigarettes while the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed banning sales to anyone under 18, but has made no mention of controlling advertising.

There are approximately 466 brands of e-cigarettes, a number that continues growing. The WHO is recommending several regulatory options such as banning vending machines in most locations and preventing e-cigarette manufacturers from making claims that e-cigs could help people quit smoking, until there is evidence of such information.

Another concern of the WHO is that e-cigarettes may tempt children and teens with flavors ranging from bubblegum to bacon. E-cigs could also pose a threat to fetuses of pregnant women as well.

The report by the WHO will be debated by member states at a meeting in October.

The FDA has proposed a rule that would extend the agency's tobacco authority to cover additional products, such as e-cigarettes. The administration notes that consumers do not know how much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are in the products nor are they informed about the potential risks of e-cigs when used as intended.

The FDA has received voluntary reports of adverse events involving e-cigarettes. These adverse events described instances in which consumers were hospitalized for pneumonia, congestive heart failure and seizures allegedly linked to the use of e-cigarettes.

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