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Sales of electronic cigarettes rise, as does criticism

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Makers of electronic cigarettes are reporting strong growth in sales as anti-tobacco laws force European smokers into the cold streets, but campaigners say the device is undercutting health efforts.

Spain joined Sunday the ranks of countries that have outlawed smoking in enclosed public space after a wave of similar legislation across Europe.

For the makers of electronic cigarettes, which simulate the sensation of a cigarette and can contain nicotine, the traditionally heavy smoking nation marks a potentially lucrative market for their much-criticised product.

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“We have seen sales grow by 30 percent each year since 2007 when we launched our product,” said a spokesman for EdSylver, one of the leading manufacturers of the product invented in China in 2004.

Manufacturers such as EdSylver say the plastic cigarette is not harmful for the smoker or people around them, but this claim is rejected by health experts.

At a World Health Organisation conference in Uruguay in November, one of its leading anti-tobacco experts Eduardo Bianco said electronic cigarettes “sabotaged smoking prevention efforts”, which were designed to encourage people to quit.

The plastic cigarettes function as mini aerosols, releasing artificial smoke with or without nicotine.

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“I am very happy with it, I want to repeat the feeling of smoking, without the harm of nicotine,” said one Parisian user.

Professor Yves Martinet, head of the French National Committee Against Tobacco, said the electronic cigarette was a rip-off.

“This product offers no medical support for quitting smoking, there are some countries that have banned it,” he said.

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“For the moment, this product has not been evaluated in a scientific way,” he said.

The French national office for smoking prevention said the purpose of the electronic cigarette was “ambiguous”, and condemned its sale in pharmacies.

The office said the products were presented by manufacturers both as “an aid to quitting and a product which would allow smoking in enclosed spaces.”

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Tobacco sellers meanwhile reject manufacturers’ claims that sales of the device are taking off.

“It doesn’t sell at all, some of our members still have stocks from last year,” said Gerard Bohelay, the head of an association of tobacco retailers in the French capital.


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Brian Williams compares Corey Lewandowski’s opening statement to the North Korean news lady

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MSNBC host Brian Williams on Tuesday noted the similarities between former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and North Korean news anchor Ri Chun Hee.

"Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign manager who is now considering a Senate run in New Hampshire, testified before the House Judiciary Committee today," Williams reported. "It is likely his North Korean anchorwoman-quality opening remarks were meant were one viewer (Donald Trump)."

Ri, who has earned the nickname "Pink Lady," is known for her enthusiastic reading of government-approved news.

Watch the video below from MSNBC.

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CNN

‘Train-wreck of a witness’: Analysts nail ‘obstructive’ Corey Lewandowski for proving the Democrats’ case

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Political commentator Catherine Rampell disagreed with New York Times columnist Frank Bruni that the Democrats faltered during the hearing with Corey Lewandowski Tuesday. Former state and federal prosecutor Elie Honig called Lewandowski a "train-wreck of a witness."

She explained that Democrats had an extremely low bar: they had to prove Trump obstructed justice and that Corey Lewandowski gave one of the examples of such obstructions. In that sense, Rampell said they accomplished their goals.

"I don’t think this was a great day for Corey Lewandowski," she began. "This is a guy who went on TV and announced to the world -- apparently at the same time he is also trying to fundraise for Senate -- that he lies most of the time. Except when he's under oath."

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CNN

WATCH: Ana Navarro keeps shouting down Trump booster — even as CNN host cuts to commercial

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President Donald Trump cheered on his top Hispanic advisor Steve Cortes, who appeared before a New Mexico audience. Trump asked Cortes which he loved more, Hispanics or America, which prompted CNN's Ana Navarro to blast the president for racism. Meanwhile, Trump's latest CNN shill cried "political correctness."

"Look, I suspect he didn't want to offend Steve Cortes and I suspect Steve Cortes was not offended," Navarro said. "But really what a stupid thing to say. Right? To somehow ask the question about whether you love the country more than you love Hispanics -- they are one and the same."

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