The World Health Organization wants governments to crackdown on the smoke-free cigarette known as the e-cigarette. Gavino Garay reports.
The World Health Organization wants authorities to crack down on the e-cigarette - a battery powered cigarette with nicotine vapor, instead of tobacco smoke. The global health watchdog just released a report saying that e-cigarettes could pose a threat to public health. New regulations it seeks to impose include a ban on indoor use and sales to minors. The W.H.O's Dr. Douglas Bettcher says it's also trying to dispel any notion that e-cigarettes are safer to smoke than regular cigarettes, citing a lack of scientific evidence to support such a claim. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR OF WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) DEPARTMENT FOR PREVENTION OF NONCOMMUNICABLE DISEASES, DR DOUGLAS BETTCHER, SAYING: "Underlying reasons for regulation are really to impede the promotion of these products to non-smokers and youth. And really to minimize the health risks to both users and non-users " In Paris, a crackdown on the electronic nicotine machine may not be so welcome. E-cigarette boutique owner Victor Kauffman says his customers would prefer a more laissez-faire approach. (SOUNDBITE) (English) E-CIGARETTE BOUTIQUE OWNER VICTOR KAUFFMANN SAYING: "I think that a ban on smoking e-cigarettes in public places is an error. It's an error for two reasons. One, no scientific argument justifies this measure, and more particularly banning it in public places likens the e-cigarette to real cigarettes which is a mistake. In the minds of users, it will be seen as just as dangerous." The W.H.O's recommendations will be the subject of debate among U.N. member states at a meeting in Moscow later this year.