Rome, June 4 - Italy's National Health Council proposed Tuesday that electronic cigarettes be banned from schools to protect youngsters. The proposal from the council's advisory board will go to the health ministry. Electronic cigarettes have triggered controversy as their use spreads. Last week, consumer association Codacons said the devices should be banned in public places, just as their low-tech cousins have been banned. In a formal petition to the health ministry and to industry ministry, the association said the content of emissions from electronic cigarettes should also be carefully analyzed. Scientists still have not ascertained how harmful, if at all, these devices are, said the consumer group. And until it is clear what harmful substances might be contained and diffused by e-cigarettes, they should be banned in public just as conventional cigarette smoking is current banned, said Codacons. E-cigarettes usually contain an atomizer that passes vapour into the user's mouth. Some deliver nicotine and proponents say because nothing is burned, as in a conventional cigarette, there are no toxins released.