Medical pressure groups have come out against a liberalisation of electronic cigarettes, saying more needs to be known about the benefits and risks of the device. The sale of e-cigarettes containing nicotine is banned in Switzerland.This content was published on April 17, 2014 - 11:45
Two Swiss lung specialist societies on Thursday said the use of e-cigarettes should remain forbidden on public transport and minors should not be able to buy them regardless of the nicotine content.
They argue the effectiveness of e-cigarettes to help addicts quit smoking is debatable.
E-cigarettes look similar to regular cigarettes and work by vaporising liquid nicotine, delivering a mist to the airways when users draw on the mouthpiece.
The societies also called on the government to reintroduce a tobacco tax on e-cigarettes.
A survey by Lausanne University Hospital, published last month, recommended a partial easing of the rules.
The Federal Health Office has warned consumers of the long-term health risks, notably cancer caused by aldehyde contained in the e-cigarettes vapour.
The government has pledged to take the concerns into account as part of a planned legal review due to begin this year.
The sale of e-cigarettes containing nicotine is illegal in Switzerland, but importing them for personal use is tolerated. Nicotine-free e-cigarettes can be purchased in Swiss pharmacies.
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