Live updates

'Nightmare scenario' avoided as Nigeria is declared Ebola-free

Nigeria has been declared officially free of Ebola after a 42-day period with no new cases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

The announcement eases fears that the disease could have spread to one of Africa's most densely-populated areas.

Commuters and traders crowd at a market in Nigeria's largest city Lagos Credit: REUTERS/George Esiri

WHO Director General Dr Margaret Chan said on Sunday that the appearance of the virus in Lagos would have been "the worst nightmare scenario anyone could imagine".

She said the nation's innovative polio campaign, which uses satellite technologies to track population, had been re-purposed to aid the fight against Ebola.

Last week, the WHO announced that Senegal was Ebola-free, but the pace of the outbreak continues to quicken in the three worst-hit countries.

Advertisement

E-cigarettes contain 'cancer causing substances'

E-cigarettes contain "a few cancer causing substances" and there is not enough evidence that they help smokers to quit, according to a World Health Organisation (WHO) manager who is calling for their regulation.

Dr Armando Peruga, Programme Manager of WHO's Tobacco Free Initiative said nicotine is "a key component of electronic cigarettes and affects the brain development of adolescents and foetuses of pregnant women."

He added: "Electronic cigarettes contain nicotine and other chemicals and usually a few cancer causing substances although a much lower level than a conventional cigarette, it doesn't mean that there not without risk."

Regulate E-cigarettes to 'stop promotion to the young'

Regulating electronic cigarettes is important to stop their promotion to non-smokers and youth, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) director.

Dr Douglas Bettcher, Director the Department for Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases said the rationale the regulation was "to maximize the potential of e-cigarettes and similar devices and minimize the risks of these products."

He added that the organisation also aimed to "prevent the tobacco industry from undermining the great success we have seen in tobacco control, because, let’s face it, the tobacco industry is not a major producer and manufacturer of e-cigarettes and related products."

WHO seeks to toughen up e-cigarette regulations

The owner of an "e-cigarette cafe" has told ITV News that moves by the World Health Organisation today to ban the devices indoors would amount to "taking away the freedom" of e-cigarette users.

Hazel Cheeseman, from Action on Smoking and Health, said it was necessary to "manage what some of the risks from smoking the products might be."

ITV News correspondent Nick Thatcher reports.

Advertisement

Passive E-cig emissions 'as toxic as normal cigarettes'

A World Health Organisation report has found that the levels of toxins emitted by electronic cigarettes - officially known as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) - is in the range of those produced by ordinary cigarettes, putting non-smokers at risk.

The fact that ENDS exhaled aerosol contains on average lower levels of toxicants than the emissions from combusted tobacco does not mean that these levels are acceptable to involuntarily exposed bystanders.

In fact, exhaled aerosol is likely to increase above background levels the risk of disease to bystanders, especially in the case of some ENDS that produce toxicant levels in the range of that produced by some cigarettes.

– WGO report into E-cigarettes

Ban e-cigarettes indoors, say world health officials

Electronic cigarettes should be banned indoors, the World Health Organisation said today.

Electronic cigarettes should be banned indoors, the World Health Organisation said today. Credit: PA

In a long-awaited report, the United Nations health agency also said that the devices should be regulated to "minimise content and emissions of toxicants".

It called for a ban on e-cigarettes that contain fruit, candy-like and alcohol-drinks flavours, as well as advertising and sales of the products to minors.

In addition, it advised that vending machines selling electronic cigarettes should be removed in almost all locations.

The organisation expressed concern at multinational tobacco companies monopolising the multi-billion pound market.

It urged a range of "regulatory options", including prohibiting e-cigarette makers from making health claims - such as that they help people quit smoking - until they provide "convincing supporting scientific evidence and obtain regulatory approval".

The report will be debated by member states at a meeting in October.

E-cigarettes 'could save hundreds of millions of lives'

E-cigarettes have the potential to save "hundreds of millions of lives" by cutting smoking rates, a group of scientists have claimed in a letter to the World Health Organisation.

The experts want to make sure e-cigarettes are not classified in the same way as tobacco products such as cigarettes.

Such a move could lead to restrictive measures including higher taxes, bans on e-cigarette advertising and restrictions on their use in public places.

Their letter reads: "These products could be among the most significant health innovations of the 21st century - perhaps saving hundreds of millions of lives. The urge to control and suppress them as tobacco products should be resisted."

Scientists urge WHO not to clamp down on e-cigarettes

A group of 53 leading scientists has written to the World Health Organisation (WHO) urging the body not to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products.

The experts say e-cigarettes are "part of the solution" in the fight against smoking-related diseases and their use should not be discouraged.

The scientists say health policymakers should not be trying to restrict the use of e-cigarettesl Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Leaked documents from a WHO meeting suggest the organisation sees e-cigarettes as a "threat" and wants them bracketed along with other products containing nicotine, including regular cigarettes.

Load more updates