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Sun 6 Sep 2015 11:18 AM

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Oman close to banning e-cigarettes, says ministry official

The Sultanate already restricts the sale of the devices, with an increasing amount of research suggesting their harmful effects

Oman close to banning e-cigarettes, says ministry official
(Getty Images)

Oman is considering banning electronic cigarettes, according to a senior Ministry of Health official.

The promotion and sale of the battery operated ‘cigarette’ is restricted in the country but their use is not prohibited.

An increasing number of medical studies have shown the devices, which use a vaporizer that simulates the feeling of smoking without the use of tobacco, are not as healthy as manufacturers purport them to be.

Last week, the Center for Environmental Health released a study showing e-cigarettes contain cancer-causing agents.

Dr Jawad Al Lawati, rapporteur of Oman’s National Tobacco Control Committee in the Ministry of Health, told the Muscat Daily authorities were considering a “comprehensive ban” based on several international recommendations and medical studies illustrating their addictive nature.

“They have not been approved by international health agencies such as the US Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization and the safety of these cigarettes is yet to be proven,” Dr Al Lawati was quoted as saying.

Dozens of countries already ban or restrict e-cigarettes, including Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE, which restrict their sale and promotion, according to WHO.

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