California Declares E-Cigs a Public Health Risk

State plans anti-vaping ad campaign
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2015 1:54 AM CST
Calif. Declares E-Cigs a Public Health Risk
Geoff Braithwaite, owner of Tasty Vapor, exhales vapor after using an electronic cigarette in Oakland, Calif.    (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

A big setback for e-cigarettes in America's most populous state: Health authorities in California have declared the devices to be a health risk and urged residents to stop using them, reports NBC. The state, which warns that rising e-cigarette use is introducing a "new generation to nicotine addiction" and notes there were more than 150 reports of children under five being poisoned by "e-juice" last year, plans an advertising campaign to combat use of the devices, the LA Times reports. A state report says there is "no scientific evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers successfully quit traditional cigarettes or that they reduce their consumption."

The vaping industry strongly criticized the state report, especially the advice for tobacco users to steer clear of e-cigarettes. "They're grossly misrepresenting the safety profile of e-cigarettes. It's really disappointing," the executive director of Consumer Advocates for Smokefree Alternatives tells the Wall Street Journal, which notes that Alaska is the only other state to have had a public anti-vaping campaign. "It's going to have the impact of discouraging people from making the switch from smoking, and it's going to cost lives." (The World Health Organization has called for a ban on indoor use of e-cigarettes.)

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