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Global meet calls for curbs on e-cigarettes

Emerging hazardous effects of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), popularly known as e-cigarettes, came up for intense discussions at the seventh meeting of Conference of Parties to WHO’s anti-tobacco pact ending in calls to ban or urgently regulate the booming sector.

COP 7 meeting, which concluded in Greater Noida today (India was the host), today urged all 180-member nations that have not yet banned importation, sale and distribution of ENDS and electronic non-nicotine delivery systems (ENNDS) to either consider prohibition or regulating these products.

The COP 7 concluded: “Parties called for unbiased, commercially independent and scientifically-based research to ascertain the overall health impact and long-term public health risks of ENDS/ENNDS. Some parties expressed concern at the use of health claims as a marketing tool for ENDS/ENNDS. There was also consideration that all different devices and delivery systems should be regulated under national legislation in the same way as drugs or tobacco products, while others called for them to be banned outright. Further evidence-based scientific research is to be prepared.”

Originally sold as a healthy alternative to tobacco, ENDS/ENNDS market is today estimated at $10 billion and is projected to rise 17 times by 2030. There are over 400 brands of e-cigarettes being marketed online globally.

Though some ENDS look like conventional tobacco counterparts like cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, pipes, or hookahs, others resemble pens, USB memory sticks and larger cylindrical or rectangular devices.

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