Lawmakers in Ukraine passed a law on July 31 prohibiting the use of electronic nicotine-delivery systems (ENDS) in public places as well as advertising, sponsorship and promotion of e-cigarettes. The law also bans the sale of flavored e-liquids other than tobacco flavors.
Justifying their action, the parliamentarians referred to a recent World Health Organization report, which suggests that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking and that they are as harmful as conventional cigarettes, according to the Independent Women’s Forum. Lawmakers also claimed the flavor ban would reduce underage vaping in Ukraine.
In its July 27 report, the WHO lauds countries that have banned the sale and use of vaping devices.
Tobacco harm reduction advocates and vaping industry representatives denounced the WHO report as “nonsensical and dangerous.”
“The WHO has a long-standing anti-vaping stance and this latest attack on a sector that is literally saving millions of lives worldwide flies in the face of scientific evidence, common sense and harm reduction,” said John Dunne, director general of the U.K. Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA).
“This report demonstrates that, sadly, the WHO still doesn’t understand the fundamental difference between addiction to tobacco smoking, which kills millions of people every year, and addiction to nicotine, which doesn’t,” said John Britton, professor of epidemiology at the University of Nottingham.