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Democratic senators rip e-cigarette use during Golden Globes

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Four Democratic senators are criticizing the celebrities who were shown during Sunday night's Golden Globes Awards puffing away on e-cigarettes.

"The Golden Globes celebrates entertainers who are an influence on young fans," wrote Sens. Dick Durbin, Richard Blumenthal, Sherrod Brown and Edward Markey on Tuesday.

"Unfortunately, this year, many young viewers saw notable displays of e-cigarette use throughout the awards show, including the opening monologue and repeated shots of celebrities smoking e-cigarettes," the letter continued. "In light of studies showing that exposure to on-screen smoking is a major contributor to smoking initiation among youth, we are troubled that these images glamorize smoking and serve as celebrity endorsements that could encourage young fans to begin smoking traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes."

Sunday night's ceremony briefly showed actor Leonardo DiCaprio and actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus smoking e-cigarettes during the broadcast.

"The Golden Globes celebrates entertainers who are an influence on young fans. We ask the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and NBC Universal to take actions to ensure that future broadcasts of the Golden Globes do not intentionally feature images of e-cigarettes. Such action would help to avoid the glamorization of smoking and protect the health of young fans," the senators concluded.

Many smokers have turned to the battery-powered cigarettes to help them quit. Many contain nicotine and they allow users to inhale vaporized liquid nicotine instead of tobacco smoke. But regulators across the country are trying to figure out how to properly address e-cigarettes, arguing that they may serve as a gateway to tobacco cigarettes for young people.

A New York City Council recently banned "vaping" in public places, in line with tobacco cigarettes, and many other cities are watching closely to determine if they should follow suit. Vaping is already banned on many college campuses.

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