Tobacco Free CA poster on E-cigarettes backfires

A poster on new campaign by the California Department of Public Health through its social media sites and its new website “Still Blowing Smoke” ( apparently has fallen flat on its face as hundreds of comments poured in to support E-cigarettes and “vaping”, which refers to the act of inhaling E-cigarette vapor.

The particular poster and graphic , which features a nicotine delivery device, is shown with vapor coming out of its battery end instead of the mouthpiece, and erroneously mixing up “vapor” and “aerosol” as one and the same. Vapor is produced by applying heat to liquid (“vaporization”), aerosol is achieved using a propellant such as compressed air, examples of which are deodorant sprays and air fresheners). Vaporization is the method used in E-cigarettes.  This is evidence that the people behind the campaign, or at least the person(s) in charge of creating and marketing these posters may be lacking education of what they are campaigning against.

Hundreds of comments on the poster range from outrage to just plain silliness.  However, people who claim to be ex-smokers and have successfully quit traditional smoking, giving credit to E-cigarettes are hard to ignore.

Facebook user Darla M. says: “Im 57 years old, smoked for 40 years, 2 years 3 months smoke free because of e-cigarettes, #IAMPROOF #Vapingsavedmylife. NO more out of breath, NO more COPD symptoms, NO more coughing all day.   Getting your information from junk science is your fault. Look at the real truthful science and studies.”

While Facebook user Luci K. says, “I switched from smoking to vaping 2 years ago. Since then I breathe much easier, my sense of smell is now wonderful, my sense of taste has returned. My blood pressure has gone down, I’ve lost 30 pounds, I can take my dogs for a walk without getting short of breath, I can now also climb stairs without having to stop and catch my breath. My heart rate has gone from rapid and erratic to a slower and more regular rate. This was after being a 4 pack a day smoker for 50 years. Smoking was killing me, but when I switched, there is such a huge improvement in my health and life. Vaping is 1500 times safer than the 3000+ toxins in cigarettes. I’m living proof that vaping works. I have come from having to use a nebulizer 3 times a day along with 3 inhalers and a pill to help my lungs function to one inhaler a day, no nebulizer and no pill.”

The people behind the website and Facebook page were apparently overwhelmed by the negative response, prompting them to post the following:

Dear Facebook community,

We have received quite the response to the launch of our new public health campaign! We know our campaign is effective in reaching people when we receive this kind of engagement. We have seen some common questions come up and are going to be providing answers to those questions soon. Stay tuned over the next few days, and join the conversation!

Opponents of E-cigarettes and vaping themselves say that there have been little studies made on the dangers of E-cigarettes and vaping.  But on the same token, studies on the benefits are also lacking.

The opening salvo has been fired and it may take many years to find out what real deal is.  However, it is apparent that it is helping smokers quit the traditional cigarette, and maybe worth looking from that angle instead.

A copy of the poster is below:

tobacco free ca
A Tobacco Free CA poster shows a nicotine delivery device with the vapor coming out the battery end instead of the mouthpiece.

If you are trying to quit smoking, here are a few resources: