California Department of Public Health warns of e-cigarettes use

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The California Department of Public Health announced growing concerns over e-cigarettes or "vaping." The department also made its first public push to discourage people from using the devices.

Both opponents and proponents of the devices agree that "vaping" or the use of e-cigarettes is rapidly growing in popularity with more shops opening up here in the Central Valley. Still, state health officials had a stern warning for adults and teens about taking part in the new smoking trend.

Satyr Vapor in Northeast Fresno only opened a few months ago but already business is booming.

Adam Wooddy, owner of Satyr Vapor, said, "The business, since I took it over four months ago, we've easily doubled in size. The growth has been amazing."

Wooddy is a former smoker. He's anti-smoking tobacco but pro e-cigarettes, which he says is a healthier alternative to tobacco cigarettes.

Wooddy said, "There's thousands of chemicals in cigarettes. A lot of additives for them to be more addictive, 60 of which are known carcinogens."

The California Department of Public Health told Action News that while it does agree that the battery-powered e-cigarettes aren't as harmful as traditional cigarettes, it doesn't make them safe. State health officials today made their first public push to educate Californians about e-cigarettes and the dangers of using them.

Dr. Ron Chapman, California Department of Public Health, said, "E-cigarettes contain a liquid solution commonly referred to as e-liquids or e-juice that when heated emits a toxic aerosol not a harmless water vapor."

Dr. Chapman said the rapidly growing trend is now threatening to undo decades of work in reducing the number of people who smoke. He says people are consuming chemicals that are not regulated which means the companies that make them don't have to publicly say what ingredients they're using.

Dr. Chapman explained, "For the first time, national data showed that among U.S. teens, use of e-cigarettes actually surpassed the use of traditional cigarettes in 2014."

He believes vaping won't help people quit tobacco smoking. Wooddy disagrees, saying it worked for him and most of his customers.

Wooddy said, "Before making an assumption about the harmful aspects about it just look more into it. Do the research."

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