Health officials challenge e-cigarette marketing

NORWICH – With the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) growing in popularity, local tobacco free advocates are rebuking the device as equally harmful to health as the real deal.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, adolescents who use e-cigarettes are more likely to smoke real cigarettes and less likely to quit smoking than students who do not use e-cigarettes. What's more, they're likely to smoke heavily, say researchers.

This and similar studies are starting to raise eyebrows among healthcare professionals about the role of electronic cigarettes and how they might lead to a smoking addiction, said Tobacco Free Chenango Coordinator James Mutabiilwa.

“This is not a product that is being portrayed as safe in any means,” said Mutabiilwa, citing state law that prohibit sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18. “E-cigarettes still have a nicotine product that gets people addicted and I think that leads them to smoking real cigarettes later on.”

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