California public health officials yesterday launched an ‘information campaign’ that they hope will erode the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes, according to a story in the San Bernadino County Sun.
Dr. Karen Smith, director of the California Department of Public Health, was quoted as saying in a statement that, since 1990, California had been a world leader in tobacco-use prevention and cessation.
But the aggressive marketing and escalating use of e-cigarettes threatened to erode that progress for both teenagers and adults, Smith said.
In January, public health officials published an ‘advisory’ on the risks associated with electronic cigarettes. It said, in part, that while several studies had found lower levels of carcinogens in electronic cigarette aerosols than in the smoke from traditional tobacco cigarettes, both had been found to contain at least 10 chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm.
The information campaign is due to continue through June on social media, television and billboards, and at some movie theaters.
But some believe the campaign is not providing ‘information’. “This campaign is nothing more than propaganda, with state bureaucrats more concerned with tax revenues than helping 3.6 million Californians quit smoking,” said Gregory Conley, president of the New Jersey-based American Vaping Association, which advocates for small- and medium-sized vaping and electronic cigarette businesses.
Conley is not happy either that the campaign alleges that the tobacco industry is pulling the strings in the electronic cigarette industry. The industry was neither created nor is dominated by the tobacco industry, he said.
There were 2,000 vape businesses in California that had helped countless Californian smokers to quit, he added.