Electronic cigarettes likely to face ban in Oman

(Our Correspondent)
Filed on March 20, 2012

MUSCAT - Electronic cigarettes, increasingly becoming popular around the world as a substitute for tobacco smoking and claimed to be risk free by manufacturers, are most likely to be banned in Oman, a local newspaper reported on Monday.

Sale of e-cigarettes is not at present allowed in the country and health authorities are now strongly recommending a permanent ban.

“In other countries, these are marketed in the guise of smoking cessation devices, although they haven’t yet been approved by international health agencies, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The efficacy and safety of these cigarettes is yet to be proven,” the state-owned Oman Daily Observer’ quoted

Dr Jawad A Al Lawati, Director of the Department of Non-Communicable Diseases Surveillance and Control at the Ministry of Health, as saying.

The issue of ban will be discussed at a meeting next month of the National Tobacco Control Committee, called mainly to discuss a draft National Anti-Tobacco Law. Lawati, who is also the sultanate’s leading anti-tobacco crusader, said an “outright ban’ on electronic cigarettes was further justified after a recent incident in which a device exploded in a man’s mouth in Florida in the US. The man, who was smoking an e-cigarette, lost some of his teeth and part of his tongue when a battery inside the device exploded.

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