The Center for Environmental Health wants manufacturers to post Proposition 65 warnings on e-cigarettes and associated paraphernalia. Proposition 65 requires products sold in California to warn consumers of carcinogens and chemicals that cause reproductive harm. The center sent notices to nearly 40 companies on Thursday demanding they carry Proposition 65 labels and threatened to file lawsuits unless the companies post labels, recall products already sold, and pay fees based on civil penalties, which can run as high as $2,500 a day per violation.
Charles Margulis, a spokesman for the group, said, “The strategy is to get the companies to forego an expensive legal tussle by entering negotiations, and to secure agreements about marketing, labeling, and other things. The group wants to change how the products, in its view, appear to be marketed to children, with sweet flavors, and are not packaged securely enough to be childproof.”
The warning letters come as e-cigarettes are under increasing fire from the media and government officials. Late last month, the state Department of Public Health issued a statement warning that e-cigarettes are toxic and addictive.
“E-cigarettes contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals, and the nicotine in them is as addictive as the nicotine in cigarettes,” said the department’s director, Dr. Ron Chapman. “There is a lot of misinformation about e-cigarettes. That is why, as the state’s health officer, I am advising Californians to avoid the use of e-cigarettes and keep them away from children of all ages.”