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Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control introduces the latest member of its “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign, Kristy.
Kristy is a 35-year-old wife and mother who tried to quit smoking by using e-cigarettes but ended up just smoking both.
Kristy, who suffered a collapsed lung, will appear in print and radio ads talking about her experience with the products.
Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tells Here & Now’s Robin Young e-cigarettes are posing new, problematic trends.
Frieden says the number of young people smoking e-cigarettes has exploded.
“Undoubtedly, the case that many of those kids are going to be dealing with nicotine addiction,” Frieden said. “It’s a tobacco product, it’s nicotine, it’s highly addictive, and once people are hooked on nicotine the possibility, the likelihood, that they will smoke regular cigarettes is significant.”
Frieden says he’s also concerned that people think of e-cigarettes as proven smoking-cessation devices.
“They may help some people … [but] none of these companies have gone and said, ‘Yes, we are going to take this to the FDA and market it as a way of quitting smoking,'” he said. “In contrast, what we are seeing is the tobacco industry purchasing many of the e-cigarette companies and thinking of ways to keep people smoking – not to get people to quit.”