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Area health officials weigh in on FDA's e-cig authorization

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- On Tuesday, the health officials authorized the first electronic cigarettes in the U.S., saying the R.J. Reynolds vaping products can benefit adult smokers.

Aspirus Registered Respiratory Therapist Sarah Schroeder said smoking of any kind is not healthy.

"The culture today has made vaping so much more acceptable than cigarette smoking," Schroeder said. "Some of us choose foods that maybe the FDA has approved, and they’re not necessarily healthy for us. We still choose to eat them. I look at the vape devices in the same way.”

Laura Fischer, Nicotine Prevention Alliance of Central Wisconsin Coordinator and Marathon County Health Department Public Health Educator, said it's important to remember that the devices are authorized for sell, not FDA approved or safe for use.

“They’re supposed to be used at only a short length and then the goal is to ultimately quit both,” Fischer said.

Schroeder said she does not believe this was a good decision.

"I almost think they’re more addictive than cigarettes because of the accessibility of them and the ability to use them in almost any environment,” Schroeder said. "I’m fearful of what my patients will look like in the future that have long term lung damage from vaping.”

The Marathon County Health Department encourages those wanting to quit smoking to either call the Wisconsin Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT NOW or text "READY" to 200400.

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