California Health Officials Launch Campaign Against ‘Vaping’

by Laurel Rosenhall and Ellen Garrison, The Sacramento Bee

jaspis11 / creatrive commons

jaspis11 / creatrive commons

Inside the Vapor Spot on J Street, these are the words used to describe the liquid that goes in the electronic cigarettes that have fueled the “vaping” trend: Watermelon, vanilla cream, super fly lemon pie.

California’s top public health officials are working to introduce a new vocabulary to describe the ingredients: benzene, formaldehyde, nicotine.

“We see e-cigarettes as a growing threat that needs to be addressed,” Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health, said in a phone call with reporters Wednesday, as he announced a new effort to warn Californians about the dangers of the devices also known as vapes, vaporizers and vape pens.

“From all the evidence we have so far, e-cigarettes are not as harmful as conventional cigarettes, but e-cigarettes are not harmless. They are not safe.”

Chapman called for a “bold public education campaign” to inform Californians about the health effects of electronic cigarettes, and sent an advisory to doctors urging them to tell patients that vaping is especially harmful to teenagers and pregnant women.

Electronic cigarettes contain at least 10 chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects, according to the report the California Department of Public Health released Wednesday.

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