Jenny McCarthy is no stranger to controversy, so it shouldn't be surprising that her endorsement of e-cigarettes is raising some eyebrows.
The South Side Chicago native and former Playboy bunny signed on as a spokesperson for Blu e-cigarettes, one of many brands of the popular re-chargeable or disposable devices that have little or no levels of nicotine, and produce water vapor instead of smoke.
McCarthy's ad for Blu claims that the e-cigarettes have improved her dating life -- because she doesn't smell like smoke and can enjoy a cigarette without the guilt.
Experts disagree on whether the relatively new e-cigarettes are actually harmful to the body, or can help smokers kick the habit, but scientists from the University of Athens, Greece conducted a study that showed "using an e-cigarette caused an instant increase in airway resistance that lasted for 10 minutes." Much less than actual cigarettes, but significant nonetheless.
The New York Times reports e-cigarette makers are employing the same marketing tactics that tobacco companies used decades ago to glamorize smoking and attract young smokers.
E-cigarette companies are on track to spend millions of dollars more in major media ad buys than traditional tobacco companies this year, the newspaper reported.
Illinois recently joined several other states in banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, but the devices have yet to be regulated by the federal government.