Public health professionals say although many are led to believe these things are a safer alternative to cigarettes or chew, we don't yet have the science to back that up. They say this is just one of many steps needed to move the Mountain State forward in terms of our heavy use of tobacco.

"I think in the minds of those who may have previously thought these products were acceptable and harmless, this regulatory action certainly suggests we need to take a closer look," says Dr. Linda Alexander, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at WVU's School of Public Health.

Experts say studies are finding that E-Cigs and other devices can be addictive, and actually could serve as a gateway to smoking and other tobacco use in young people. Something officials say needs to stop to make our state healthier.

"We have the highest rate of smoking for all age groups,” says Dr. Gregory Hand, Dean of the WVU School of Public Health. “We have the highest rate of smoking for pregnant women. We have thousands of people very year who begin smoking, especially children."

Others say it's important that both kids and adults know exactly what's going into their body.

"The product itself hasn't been standardized,” says Valerie Frey-McClung, Director of Evaluation Services for the West Virginia Prevention Research Center. “So, if you get an E-Cigarette device today, and then you buy what you think is the same thing tomorrow, historically, you don't know that they've been the same thing."

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Written by Matthew Baumgarten, WDTV
Last updated on May 06, 2016 @ 11:36PM
Created on May 06, 2016 @ 6:52PM