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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)

(Newser) – 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."

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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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