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E-cigarettes stubbed out by lung experts

The sale of e-cigarettes with nicotine is illegal in Switzerland, but smokers can import them for personal use Keystone

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
swissinfo.ch and agencies

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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