California public health officials say the rise of electronic cigarettes threatens to undo 25 years of progress the state has made against tobacco use. They say the nicotine in e-cigarettes is a highly addictive neurotoxin.
"E-liquids and the aerosol they emit, have been found to contain at least 10 chemicals that are on California's proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm," says Ron Chapman with the California Department of Public Health.
The department says those chemicals include benzene and formaldehyde. It says there has been a surge in e-cigarette use among teenagers nationwide, with more of them picking up the battery-powered devices than traditional cigarettes.
The American Vaping Association says e-cigarettes help smokers quit tobacco, and are less toxic than regular cigarettes.