The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged governments to treat e-cigarettes, also known as vapes, similarly to tobacco and ban all flavours.
That could spell trouble for some big tobacco companies, which have staked their futures on a shift to cigarette alternatives. British American Tobacco (BATS.L), for example, wants 50% of its revenues to come from “non-combustible” products by 2035.
Vapes were banned in 34 countries as of July of this year, according to the WHO, including Brazil, India, Iran and Thailand. But many countries struggle to enforce e-cigarette rules, meaning they are often available on the black market. 74 countries, mostly in Africa but including Pakistan, Colombia and Mongolia, did not regulate e-cigarettes at all as of July, according to the WHO. In other nations, including key markets like the U.S. and China, governments allow vapes but regulate their use.