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If you thought your electronic cigarette was so much healthier than smoking regular cigarettes, California’s health officials are here to burst your bubble. One year after California banned electronic cigarettes from public places, e-cigs are increasingly considered a health threat. Strict regulations similar to those applied to tobacco products have been asked by health advocates nationwide.
Although it needs more research for the short, respectively, long term health effects, the California Department of Public Health stated that the e-cigarettes instill addiction to nicotine while poisoning the air with cancer-causing chemicals. Ron Chapman, head officer of the health department, expressed his worry for the future generations of nicotine addicts, if the device remains outside regulations.
The health department’s fear is that e-cigarettes will cancel all the efforts put in the last 20 years to reduce smoking in California, bringing the unhealthy habit back to harmful rates among the population.
Electronic cigarettes use a method of vaporizing the liquid nicotine from the cartridge without using tar or any other harmful chemicals found in regular cigarettes. Smoking an e-cigarette, or “vaping”, is promoted to be a lot safer and less detrimental to health.
Gregory Conley, chief of the e-cigarette advocacy group American Vaping Association, sent an e-mail defending the pros of using their device, claiming plenty of evidence showing that vaping is an aiding factor for smokers who want to quit their habit, and affects your health far less than traditional smoking. He was quite irritated by the inaccurate information about the risks implied by the e-cigarette, and demanded fair play rather than conjecture.
Health officers requested regulations for the marketing and selling of e-cigarettes. Furthermore, they considered that educational campaigns should be initiated on the dangers of using e-cigarettes, and also some safety against accidental ingestion of liquid nitrogen. Even before this Wednesday, minors were forbidden to buy e-cigarettes.
Even though e-cigarettes do not emit the same annoying smell as the regular ones, one of the California senators has introduced a regulation against using them in public places, like bars, schools or hospitals. He also requested that e-cigarettes be registered as tobacco products, a bill which did not pass last year, after being strongly opposed by the tobacco companies.
California is not the only state to fight against the rampant spread of e-cigarettes, other states, such as Oklahoma, Tennessee and Arkansas, having already released warnings concerning the product.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia