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MILLIONS of Brits are facing a ban on vaping, The Sun on Sunday can reveal.
They will be hit if World Health Organisation recommendations on outlawing e-cigarettes are adopted.
The proposal would spell bad news for 2.4million vapers across the UK and the 2,000 businesses which rely on a sector worth more than £2billion.
And experts condemned the idea, with one saying it would drive up deaths from tobacco.
Clive Bates, a tobacco harm expert and the former director of anti-smoking group ASH, said: “The advice is completely irresponsible and bizarre.
“If governments take it seriously, they will be protecting the cigarette trade, encouraging smoking and adding to a huge toll of cancer, heart and lung disease. Something has gone badly wrong here.”
Details of the potential ban have emerged from a report published by WHO’s tobacco regulatory committee.
It targets vapes which allow “the user to control device features and liquid ingredients”.
This method, called open-vaping, is the preferred way for 77 per cent of the 3.2million Brits who use e-cigs.
In an open system, the liquid to be vaporised is refilled manually by the user. There is also a removable mouthpiece.
WHO fears it allows for dangerous substances to be added so the products can become more harmful.
Its recommendation has been forwarded to governments around the world and will be discussed later this year at a conference in Glasgow.
In Britain, public health officials say vaping is 97 per cent safer than smoking and encourage those trying to quit tobacco to try e-cigarettes.
Expert Peter Hajek, from Queen Mary University of London, said: “There is no evidence vaping is highly addictive. There is clear evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers quit.”
James Dunworth, 44, from Swansea, runs a string of vape shops. He said: “A ban would lead to the unnecessary early deaths of smokers and an explosion in the black market.”
E-cigarettes are already banned in at least 30 countries.
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