“There is insufficient scientific evidence to be able to say
whether the quantities of toxins in the exhaled air are
dangerous for bystanders,” Van Rijn wrote in a letter to
parliament on Thursday.


“In advance of European regulations, I will take measures in
national legislation in regard to advertising, safety, quality
and labelling of e cigarettes,” the letter said.

Additional research will be conducted by the institute to
learn more about e cigarettes, the ministry said.

The warning came as Britain signalled it would force tobacco
companies to scrap branded cigarette packaging on Thursday in an
attempt to reduce the number of children who may be drawn to
smoking by striking and brightly coloured packs.

The Dutch institute raised concerns on its website last week
that e cigarettes are attractive to young people because of
bright colours, flashing lights and jewellery like appearance.

Roughly 11 to 18 percent of Dutch smokers have tried the
e cigarette, while about 5 percent said they use it regularly,
the ministry said.

Market consultant Euromonitor estimates the world market for
electronic cigarettes was more than $2 billion last year, with
the United States accounting for a quarter of that.

A few countries have banned them outright such as Brazil,
Norway and Singapore while others are opting for varying
degrees of regulation, in some cases including limits on
advertising and curbs on their use in public places.

Big tobacco companies are grappling with declining sales of
tobacco in a number of markets due to increasing government
regulation and more health aware consumers, as well as smuggling
and an economic downturn.

Philip Morris International Inc, the maker of
Marlboro cigarettes, said this month it plans to enter the
e cigarette market next year, saying it is the “greatest growth

Imperial Tobacco Group plans to launch two
electronic cigarettes in its new fiscal year.

(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch, additional reporting by Kate
Kelland in London, Editing by Pravin Char)

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