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WHO Urges for Tighter Regulations over E-Cigarette Use

Update Date: Aug 26, 2014 09:24 AM EDT

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued new recommendations calling for tighter controls over e-cigarette use shortly after the American Heart Association (AHA) released their new guidance. According to the United Nations health agency, countries should regulate these products and prohibit them from indoor use until more research proves that the vapor does not cause any harm to bystanders.

The WHO's report urges all 194 member nations to ban the sales of e-cigarettes to minors. Under the new recommendations, the nations should also limit or ban e-cigarette manufacturers and other parties from advertising, promoting or sponsoring these nicotine-vapor devices. Companies can no longer claim any health benefits of e-cigarettes without any evidence. The agency stated that these regulations are needed since the industry is expanding rapidly. Currently, there are more than 400 brands of e-cigarettes.

"[Regulation] is a necessary precondition for establishing a scientific basis on which to judge the effects of their use, and for ensuring that adequate research is conducted and the public health is protected and people made aware of the potential risks and benefits," the report wrote according to the Associated Press reported by ABC News.

The agency added that stricter controls could limit the exposure of toxins that are present in e-cigarettes. There has been some evidence that the toxins have a smaller effect on people's health in comparison to regular cigarettes. However, having a smaller effect does not mean that the toxins have no effects. E-cigarettes could potentially harm the development of young children and fetuses in pregnant women. The AHA's guidance called for similar controls over e-cigarettes. Like the WHO, the AHA stressed the importance of conducting more research to determine the health effects of vaping.

"Although the levels of toxic constituents in e-cigarette aerosol are much lower than those in cigarette smoke, there is still some level of passive exposure," the AHA said reported by Reuters.

The report will be reviewed at a WHO conference that will be held in Moscow, Russia in October.

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